Fuel price hikes ‘now firmly on the horizon’, warns RAC
UK drivers are being warned to brace themselves for further potentially dramatic pump price increases on the back of rising oil prices.
The price of a barrel of oil is already back up to January 2020 levels (around $64 a barrel) following last year’s pandemic-led drop and some analysts predict prices could hit $80 this year as restrictions ease on the back of global vaccination programmes.
Pump prices have now been rising for at least 13 weeks and the RAC warns that they could rise to around 130p for petrol and 134.5p to diesel based on today’s exchange rate remaining constant – and more if the exchange rate falls.
And if the oil price hits $100 a barrel – a price that JPMorgan has said is a possibility next year – petrol and diesel could hit records high of 143p and 148p respectively.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Ironically and rather unfortunately, as economic confidence grows as measures to combat the coronavirus take effect, it’s likely to mean drivers end up paying more to fill up in the coming weeks.
“With the chancellor’s Budget now less than two weeks away, the last thing drivers, and possibly the economy, need is a fuel duty increase – not least as petrol prices have now been rising for 13 consecutive weeks. A hike in duty at a time of rising fuel prices could put unprecedented pressure on lower-income households and might have the negative effect of forcing everyone who depends on their cars to consider cutting back on other spending.”