Petrol prices have a hit a nine-year high

The average price of a litre of petrol has hit its highest level since September 2012.

It means petrol is now just 2p off the record high that was seen in April of the same year, according to RAC Fuel Watch.

Data shows that prices have increased by almost 26p per litre in 12 months, a jump of 22 per cent from the 114.50p it was on this day last year.

Lorry driver shortage
Many petrol stations were forced to close temporarily recently when a shortage of HGV drivers hit supply. (PA)

The major contributing factor for the increase is said to be the cost of a barrel of oil, which has doubled from $41 (£29.80) to $83 (£60.32) in the same period.

Another smaller reason for the increase has been September’s switch to E10 petrol, which brought the ethanol content in petrol up from five to 10 per cent. This has added about 1p to the price.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “With just two weeks to go until COP26, the uncomfortable truth for the Government is that petrol prices are now reaching unprecedented levels and, along with rising domestic energy prices, will be putting a huge financial strain on households that depend on their vehicles and, in turn, the economy. We call on the Government to take action and do whatever it can to help ease the burden on drivers.

“While the cost of oil has more than doubled in a year, the price drivers pay at the forecourt is compounded by the fact there is nearly 58p in fuel duty charged on every litre. And, on top of the delivery cost and the retailer’s margin, you’ve then got VAT which currently accounts for 23p a litre – this has added 4p more a litre in just a year.

The RAC has recommended a temporary cut in the level of VAT on motor fuel to help reduce the cost to the motorist.