The financial sting associated with visiting the petrol pump is undoubtedly one of the heftiest downsides of motoring and it hasn’t got any less painful in recent years.
So it’s no shock to learn that average fuel prices in the UK have hit a three-year high, with a litre of petrol costing 120.19p on average in November, and 122.59p if you want diesel, according to figures obtained by Experian Catalist and published by the AA.
This comes after September’s rises that saw almost 1p plonked on petrol and 1.34p on diesel, averaging at 119.19p and 120.31p respectively.
Additionally, the price gap between supermarket and non-supermarket fuel is wider now than it has been for two years, with supermarkets charging 116.4p on average for a litre of unleaded in November, while the likes of BP, Shell, Texaco et al are asking 121.8p for the same quantity of fuel.
The figures also revealed that motorists in Northern Ireland pay the least for their fuel, averaging at 118.8p per litre, while those in London pay the most at 120.5p.
The AA estimates that the government is making an extra 1.5p per litre or 80p per tank in VAT from this year’s inflated pump prices.
AA president Edmund King said: “First, it was Russia and the Saudis cutting back on production to boost the oil price, then the commodity market speculators pushing oil’s value to its highest in two and a half years, then rocket-and-feather pricing at non-supermarket pumps – all leading to inflation at above three per cent and an interest rate rise.
“Now we find the Treasury is pulling in an extra 80p a tank in VAT from this year’s inflated pump prices. As it is, the Office of Budget Responsibility says fuel duty receipts are equivalent to each UK household paying £1,000 a year in tax. The squeezing of UK family budgets has to stop – and that includes the doubling of the rate of Insurance Premium Tax.”
Things are likely to get worse before they get better. The government has resisted the temptation to raise fuel duty for the past seven Budgets. However, many expect that to change in this month’s announcement.
How do you feel about pump prices? Are you sick to death of being squeezed by the oil companies and the government? Vent your frustration down there in the comments section.