Cost of living crisis: Now petrol prices soar to record high at over 148p a litre

14 February 2022, 10:57 | Updated: 14 February 2022, 11:56

The price of petrol has soared, adding to the financial burden of millions of people
The price of petrol has soared, adding to the financial burden of millions of people. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The cost of petrol has soared to a new record high, as surging bills and record rates of inflation push up the cost of living for Brits.

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Average UK petrol prices have surpassed 148p for the first time, according to new figures.

The AA has said that petrol jumped to 148.02p per litre on Sunday, rising above the previous record high of 147.72p from November 21 last year.

Meanwhile, the cost of diesel has also increased to a new record high of 151.57p per litre.

It comes on the same day the Mayor of London announced the cost of using public transport in the capital would increase, with fares on Transport for London (TfL) networks set to rise by an average of almost 5 per cent next month

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The surging prices are already starting to influence drivers' behaviour, with an AA poll showing nearly half were cutting back on car use, consumer spending or both.

Younger and lower-income drivers were particularly hard hit.

Luke Bosdet, the AA's fuel price spokesman, said: "The cost of living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases."

Prices have soared on the back of wholesale fuel prices, which have jumped amid a resurgence in demand following the reopening of global economies, but have also been spurred in recent days by concerns that Russian tensions could have an impact on supply.

On Thursday, fuel prices passed the previous record set on November 20 of 151.10p a litre.

On Monday morning, Brent crude oil prices surged to a new seven-year high of more 95.40 US dollars per barrel.

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RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Petrol has unfortunately hit a frightening new high of 148.02p, which takes filling a 55-litre family car to an eye-watering £81.41.

"With the oil price teetering on the brink of 100 dollars a barrel and retailers keen to pass on the increase in wholesale fuel quickly, new records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks.

"The oil price is rising due to tensions between Russia - the world's third-biggest oil producer - and Ukraine, along with oil production remaining out of kilter with demand as the world emerges from the pandemic.

"As a result, drivers in the UK could be in for an even worse ride as pump prices look certain to go up even more."

The petrol price increases come at a time where the cost of living is soaring for millions of Brits.

The increases are driven partly by inflation as well as repeated raising of the energy price cap, pushing up household bills and leaving thousands of people having to choose between 'heating and eating'.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled measures designed to help households - including knocking off £200 from energy bills, which will be paid back at £40 a year over five years from 2023.

A £150 rebate, non-repayable, will be available to England's council tax payers and councils will get £150m to help people in trouble.

"We can take the sting out of this significant price rise for millions of families," Mr Sunak said when announcing the package.