With crude oil prices rocketing, the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car has now passed the £100 mark for the first time, according to a British automotive services firm.
As the average price of unleaded diesel in the UK topped 182p for a litre and the unleaded variant cost more than 188p, the RAC warned that the situation could worsen further.
“It’s a truly dark day today for drivers with petrol now crossing the thoroughly depressing threshold of £100 a tank (£100.27p). A complete diesel fill-up now costs £103.43,” RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said.
“While fuel prices have been setting new records on a daily basis, households up and down the country may never have expected to see the cost of filling an average-sized family car reach three figures”.
Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, had in March reduced the fuel levy by 5p but it was neutralised by the surging crude oil prices which are near multi-year highs.
Brent oil was trading at $123.47 a barrel while WTI crude was close behind at $121.94, according to the latest data on Investing.com on Thursday.
“March’s 5p fuel duty cut now looks paltry as wholesale petrol costs have already increased by five times that amount since the Spring Statement (25p). A further duty cut or a temporary reduction in VAT would go a long way towards helping drivers, especially those on lower incomes who have no choice other than to drive,” Williams said.
He said the government was still benefiting from the high fuel prices by taking around 30p in VAT from every litre sold.
The VAT has gone from the 25p level before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The recovery from the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict have been driving energy prices, experts said.
The fuel price issue dominated the front pages of some of the leading newspapers in the UK. Here are some of the headlines: