Economy, Europe

UK petrol prices hit record high

57% of average retail price for litre of petrol in UK is comprised of taxes

Karim El-Bar   | 25.10.2021
UK petrol prices hit record high

LONDON

The average daily price of petrol in the UK hit a record high of 142.94p per liter on Sunday, according to data published on Monday by RAC/Experian Catalyst.

The figures are independent of the government, and the previous record was 142.48p in April 2012.

As economies worldwide continue to open up after the pandemic, oil prices have continued to climb, with no sign that the trend will reverse this year.

The RAC highlighted that 57% of the average retail price for a liter of petrol in the UK is comprised of taxes.

The RAC and AA, two British organizations that champion motorists and their causes, both weighed in on the price rises.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "This is truly a dark day for drivers and one which we hoped we wouldn't see again after the high prices of April 2012. This will hurt many household budgets and no doubt have knock-on implications for the wider economy.

"The big question now is: where will it stop and what price will petrol hit? If oil gets to $100 a barrel, we could very easily see the average price climb to 150p a litre.

"Even though many people aren't driving quite as much as they have in the past due to the pandemic, drivers tell us they are more reliant on their cars now than they have been in years, and many simply don't have a choice but to drive.

"There's a risk those on lower incomes who have to drive to work will seriously struggle to find the extra money for the petrol they so badly need.

"We urge the government to help ease the burden at the pumps by temporarily reducing VAT and for the biggest retailers to bring the amount they make on every litre of petrol back down to the level it was prior to the pandemic."

The AA's fuel spokesman Luke Bosdet said: "Whether it's down to oil producers, market speculators, Treasury taxes or struggling retailers trying to balance their margins, record pump prices must be saying to drivers with the means that it is time to make the switch to electric.

"As for poorer motorists, many of them now facing daily charges to drive in cities, there is no escape. It's a return to cutting back on other consumer spending, perhaps even heating or food, to keep the car that gets them to work on the road."

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