‘Grim milestone’ as UK petrol prices soar to record highs 

Price of unleaded hit 151.25 pence per litre and diesel rose to 154.74 pence per litre

Petrol station
(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In September last year the UK was gripped by a fuel crisis which saw huge queues at petrol pumps due to a spate of panic buying by British drivers. Six months later, long lines at stations are beginning to form again after petrol prices hit record highs.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “sparked fears of gas shortages and price hikes”, the Daily Express reported on Saturday. And yesterday, station forecourts were “rammed with cars”, the Daily Mail added.

Brits have been warned that fuel and gas prices “will go up even further” as the war in Ukraine continues, The Mirror said. This will further affect a “looming” cost of living crisis, and with gas supplies already limited, the war will “only make things worse”.

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The UK only gets between 3-5% of its gas and 6% of crude oil from Russia. But with petrol price movements in the UK “mainly determined by the price of crude”, it would still be affected by global wholesale prices rising, the BBC said.

A crisis ‘driven by war’

According to the RAC’s Fuel Watch, the price of unleaded petrol hit 151.25 pence per litre yesterday and diesel rose to 154.74 pence per litre – “both record highs”, The Guardian said. With inflation at its highest rate for 30 years, the jump in fuel prices will “add to the burden on the UK public who are already struggling with a cost of living crisis”.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said the petrol price rise was “truly a grim milestone that no one ever wanted to see”. This is “really going to hurt” household budgets.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat warned last week that the UK’s cost of living crisis could be “driven by war”. Tugendhat, the Foreign Affairs Committee chair, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that if Europe failed to take a tough stance against Russia, the cost of petrol could surge well above £1.70 a litre. “The reality is that if we leave this to stand, if we let this pass, you can forget about petrol at £1.70 a litre, which is where it’s heading now. It will be significantly higher.”

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