Fuel prices have ‘rocketed’ in past six weeks

Motorists have been hit with a hike in fuel prices in recent weeks which have added up to £3 to the cost of filling up, official figures show.

Since March 18 the average price of a litre of petrol at UK filling stations has risen by 6p to £1.26, while diesel has gone up by 4p to £1.35.

The data, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, shows it typically costs £69 to fill the tank of a 55-litre family petrol car, or £74 if it is a diesel car.

Diesel prices have gone up for 14 consecutive weeks dating back to mid-January, while petrol prices have risen for the past 11 weeks.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The last six weeks have been tough for drivers as the price of petrol and diesel has rocketed.

“While rises like this hurt family budgets and have a negative effect on the economy, they are largely out of the UK’s control as they are driven by global and geopolitical issues.

“That said, around 60% of the prices currently being charged at the pumps goes to the Government in tax.

“US sanctions on Iran and oil producer group Opec’s decision to further limit supply has pushed up the barrel price to above 70 US dollars.

“All drivers can do is hope the situation doesn’t get any worse, as the price of petrol is nearing the five-year high of October last year when it hit £1.32 a litre.

“The best advice to drivers is to shop around for the lowest prices as this can make a big saving on a complete fill-up.”

Earlier this year a group of MPs called for an independent body to monitor fuel costs.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Fuel wants a body, which could be named PumpWatch, to oversee fuel prices in a way similar to the scrutiny faced by utility providers.

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