‘Extreme’ petrol and diesel prices break records as Easter will be ‘costliest on record’

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As well as hitting a new record-high price of 167.3p on March 22, the average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol went up by a huge 11.62p to end the month at 163.28p per litre, the largest ever increase the RAC has recorded in a single month. The average price of diesel rocketed by an astonishing 22.06p a litre, peaking at 179.9p on 23 March, ending the month at 177.29p.

This increase is three times the size of that recorded in May 2008, the previous worst month for diesel price rises, when the cost of a litre went up by 8.43p.

On average, it now costs nearly £90 to fill a 55-litre family petrol car, £6.38 more than it did at the start of the month.

It is also a staggering £22 more expensive than a year ago – a shocking 32 percent increase.

The effect of the rise in diesel prices is even more pronounced with the cost of a tank up £12 (£12.13) in March, from £85.38 to £97.51.

It is around £15 more expensive than it was at the start of January, and almost £28 (£27.84) more than a year ago – a further 40 percent increase.

Simon Williams, fuel spokesperson for the RAC, said the fuel price rise over recent weeks was shocking, especially with many other household bills increasing.

He said: “March 2022 will go down in the history books as one of the worst months ever when it comes to pump prices.

“Over the 22 years we have been monitoring pump prices as part of our Fuel Watch initiative we’ve never witnessed such extreme rises in prices over such a short period. 

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“To describe the current situation facing drivers at the forecourt as ‘bleak’ is therefore something of an understatement.

“Without question, these figures show in the starkest possible terms just how much fuel prices are contributing to the cost-of-living crisis which will be affecting households up and down the country.

“We know that so many drivers depend on their vehicles – for instance, because of a lack of feasible alternatives – so fuel prices must be starting to have an enormously detrimental effect on people’s finances, especially those on lower incomes.”

Drivers have been questioning whether all forecourts around the UK have stood by the reduction to fuel duty and lowered prices, with many still paying over the odds for fuel.

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