Fuel prices hit four-and-a-half year high

Drivers in the UK face the highest fuel prices since 2014 when they fill up at the forecourt, new figures suggest.

The data also shows the cost of petrol and diesel has gone up in eight out of the last 12 months – and there are warnings that the increases are only set to continue.

Latest figures from filling stations across the UK show that August saw the average cost of petrol go up 1.65p to 130.59p and the average diesel price hit 132.19p, up by 1.32p.

For unleaded, this is its highest price since July 2014, while diesel is at its most expensive since October of that year.

Worst-hit region

The figures from RAC’s Fuel Watch show that every region in the UK saw the average fuel price increase during August, although there were some places that suffered more than others.

The north-east and Scotland were the worst-hit regions when it came to petrol price hikes in August, with the average cost going up by 1.81p, to 129.82p.

When it came to diesel, it was the north-west that saw the biggest jump in price, going up an average of 1.48p, to 133.23p.

To put this in perspective, the cost of filling up the average 55-litre family car is now £71.82 for unleaded and £73.29 for diesel.

This represents a year-on-year increase of £7.32 to fill a petrol tank and a whopping £8.19 rise for diesel cars, which shows just how hard the price hikes are hitting UK families.

Weak pound

The fuel price rises are a symptom of the current weak pound, which means that it costs retailers a lot more to buy barrels of oil on the wholesale market.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, RAC spokesman Simon Williams warned drivers to expect further price hikes as the pound continues to weaken and the cost of oil increases.

He said: “While it’s clearly a tough time for regular motorists, unfortunately there is currently no end in sight to the rising cost of fuel.

“With the pound at such a low against the dollar, and fuel being traded in the US currency, it will only take a moderate rise in the price of oil for some eye-wateringly high prices to be seen at the pumps.”

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