‘Watershed moment’ on fuel prices: Warnings of worse to come as petrol passes £7 a gallon

UK fuel prices have soared to new record highs, with the average cost of a litre of diesel rising to £1.61, with no end in sight for spiralling pump costs.

Data from Experian Catalist reported by the AA also showed unleaded at £1.55 on Sunday as the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to be felt at forecourts.

The latest average costs were revealed hours after oil prices surged further, to hit $139 for a barrel of Brent crude, after confirmation from the United States that it was considering, along with European allies, a boycott of Russian oil and gas.

Brent had ended started the day at $118.

While petrol prices are important for UK motorists generally, rising diesel costs are seen as a greater economic threat as the fuel is the backbone of UK industry – accounting for the vast majority of vans and all HGVs.

Petrol reached 155.62p a litre while diesel averaged 161.28p, the AA said.

A year ago, they averaged 124.32p and 127.25p a litre respectively.

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AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said it meant that the cost of filling up an average 55 litre tank was almost £17 more expensive, with a gallon of fuel now passing £7 for the first time.

“A year ago, with pump prices rising steadily after the pandemic slump, 125p a litre was bad news but 155p was unimaginable.

“Although with every pump price surge a slump eventually follows, notwithstanding the fuel trade’s reluctance to pass on savings quickly, £7 a gallon could well be a watershed moment.”