Drivers are currently experiencing the biggest annual increase in fuel prices in a decade

Seven months of soaring petrol prices sparks the biggest annual increase at the pumps in a DECADE – we reveal the average cost of fuel in your area

  • May was the seventh consecutive month that average fuel prices have risen
  • Both petrol and diesel gained another 2p-a-litre, adding a total of 15.5p to unleaded since November 2020
  • Average price of unleaded now 129.27p-a-litre – the highest for almost two years 
  • Petrol is now 22p-a-litre higher than it was a year ago during the first lockdown
  • Filling the tank of an average family car is over £12 dearer than 12 months ago

Seven months of consecutive price rises at petrol pumps means unleaded is now 22p-a-litre more expensive than it was a year ago – the biggest 12-month increase recorded in 11 years, a new fuel price report has confirmed this morning.

It means filling the tank of an average family car with a petrol engine is over £12 pricier than it was a year ago. 

Unleaded prices gained more than another 2p-a-litre last month, taking the national average to 129.27p – the highest it has been for almost two years.

Diesel also grew by almost the same amount to take forecourt charges to a whopping 131.59p, according to RAC Fuel Watch.

Petrol is 22p dearer than it was a year ago: New data released today confirms a seventh consecutive month of rising prices at the pumps. It means the year-on-year difference to fill up is the highest it’s been for over a decade

Petrol prices have risen by 15.5p-a-litre in the last seven months alone, the motoring group’s fuel report says.

Diesel is now almost 20p-a-litre dearer than at the end of last May, after a 14.4p per litre hike in the last half year. 

The 22p-a-litre surge in the price of petrol compared to May 2020 – when the average fell to just 106p – is the biggest leap in year-on-year pump prices since May 2010.

It also means that petrol is now more expensive than it was at the start of 2020, prior to coronavirus arriving in the UK.

The last time unleaded was as expensive as it is today was in August 2019, back dated records show.

Diesel, however, at 131.59p still hasn’t surpassed the 132p a litre it reached at the end of January 2020.

This means a full tank for a 55-litre family car will set drivers of petrol cars back £71.10 and diesel cars £72.37, which is around £8 more than before the non-stop rises began in November.

Analysis of prices across the country from the different retailers shows that buying fuel at a supermarket forecourt will currently save drivers around 4p-a-litre, with the average price of petrol at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco standing at 124.83p and diesel 127.36p. 

The average increase in the cost of supermarket fuel mirrors the UK rise which the RAC says is not surprising as, since the pandemic, they are now responsible for selling 60 per cent of all the fuel in the UK. 

Filling up on the motorway will be a costly mistake for any driver, setting them back 146.78p-a-litre for petrol and 149.59p for diesel on average – rises of 2p and 1.6p respectively in May.

That means brimming the tank of a petrol family hatchback will cost on average £80.73 – over £9 more than the UK average. 

Drivers in London are now paying the most for petrol on average (130.87p-a-litre) while the dearest diesel tends to be in the South East, where forecourts are demanding an average price of 132.89p for every litre pumped into a vehicle. 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said drivers who took advantage of the sunny bank holiday weekend would likely have paid more to fill up with petrol than they have done in almost two years.

‘After seven consecutive months of rising prices drivers will be wondering if the increases are ever going to end,’ he said. 

‘We’ve now witnessed the biggest petrol price rise in any 12-month period since May 2010 when unleaded rocketed from 99p a year earlier to 121p.’

While Williams warned that the fuel market is ‘difficult to predict’, he suggested that wholesale prices pointed to prices potentially falling in the coming weeks.  

‘Looking at the wholesale price of both fuels, in normal circumstances unleaded definitely shouldn’t be continuing to rise with the numbers actually pointing to the potential for a 2p reduction. And diesel is currently 4p too expensive which suggests retailers are using the saving in the wholesale price to help make up for lower fuel sales over the last year,’ he explained.

‘We urge retailers not to take advantage of drivers and fairly reflect what’s happening with wholesale prices on the country’s forecourts.’


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