UK: Alert – Petrol prices hit £1.30 a litre image

For the first time, the average cost of petrol in the UK topped 130p a litre. This could soon lead to major changes in the way people feel about driving.

The latest increase means that unleaded petrol is now close to the £6 gallon benchmark, while diesel eclipsed this several weeks ago.

AA president Edmund King said: “The Chancellor must abandon the proposed tax hike (next month) and seriously consider reducing fuel duty to stabilise prices.

“The Government must act to stop fuel prices from fuelling inflation and driving people off the roads.”

“World oil prices are already very high and the Chancellor has chosen, at this very moment, to raise fuel prices further by pushing up VAT.

“I am urging him to reverse that increase.”

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Petrol costs are rising faster than at any point in the past 10 years. Some companies are charging at least £1.40 a litre, adding to the existing expense of car insurance.

In comparison, a year ago, in 2010 the pump price of petrol was 112.74p and diesel 113.79p. This means that filling up a typical 50-litre petrol tank now costs £8.65 more than a year ago.

Only the UK, along with Greece, Portugal and France, has suffered petrol price climbs this month while nine other European countries have benefited from static or falling prices, official figures from the European Commission show.