Average petrol prices have exceeded 155p per litre for the first time as oil prices continue to soar due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Sunday was 155.62p.
The price of diesel is also at a record high of 161.28p
A year ago the price per litre of petrol and diesel was 124.32p and 127.25p respectively.
These hikes are unprecedented and will sadly be hitting both homes and businesses hard
Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman
The cost of filling up a typical 55-litre family car with either fuel has become more than £17 more expensive over that period.
Oil prices have spiked due to concerns over the reliability of supplies amid the war in Ukraine.
The price per barrel of Brent crude – which is the most commonly used way of measuring the UK’s oil price – reached 139 US dollars on Monday, which is its highest level in 14 years.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The average price of petrol across the UK has jumped by more than 4p in a week topping £1.55 for the first time ever, which means a gallon costs over £7 – something which many older drivers will be struggling to comprehend.
“Diesel, however, has increased by 6.5p a litre to £1.61 or £7.30 a gallon.
“These hikes are unprecedented and will sadly be hitting both homes and businesses hard.
“It’s therefore vital the Chancellor acts quickly to limit the damage by cutting VAT to at least 15% which would save drivers 6.5p a litre and take the average price of unleaded back under £1.50.
“Importantly, this could also limit the impact of inevitable fuel price rises in the coming days and weeks.”
VAT is currently charged at a rate of 20% on petrol and diesel.
AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: “A year ago, with pump prices rising steadily after the pandemic slump, 125p a litre was bad news but 155p was unimaginable.”
He described the average petrol price rising above £7 a gallon as a “watershed moment” which means “it’s time to ditch petrol and diesel, and switch to electric” for drivers who can make the transition.
He added: “Although electricity is still susceptible to rising costs and market pressures, removing all those well-to-pump actors that can make a driver’s life a misery in a matter of weeks, will ensure a smoother ride with the cost of motoring – and a big saving initially.”