Data from the Royal Automobile Club claims many motorists now pay around £1,700 a year just to fill up the family car. David Cameron could even face a back bench rebellion on the issue.
£1,700 a year to fill up
Although the average price of petrol for unleaded is at 135p per litre currently and 140p per litre for diesel, this figure is under pressure. In a recent autumn briefing note, Brian Madderson, chairman of the Retail Motor Federation, urged the government to stamp the brakes on the next round of fuel duty, due 1 January.
"What will such increases do for inflation? What will they do to cash strapped consumers? What will they do for the declining retail sector? What will they do to re-ignite our stagnant economy?" says Madderson.
More rises comingThough oil prices have dropped - Brent Crude has slipped from $126 to $110 - recently, petrol is still just 3p off May's record high, not helped by the rise in the value of the dollar. September's RPI inflation of 5.6% casts an even darker shadow over fuel prices next year, says the AA, threatening to add another 7p – 8p to the price of petrol and diesel within the next 12 months.
Add on the 3.02p-a-litre increase in fuel duty scheduled for 1 January 2012, pushing it up to 60.97p a litre, and "an inflationary increase reflecting 5.6% would add a further 3.4p. And that's before VAT totals the increase over the next 12 months to around 7.7p a litre."
Remember the fuel blockades and outrage when fuel hit... £1 a litre?