August fuel price surge: 21-year shock for drivers

UK drivers faced the steepest fuel price hike in 21 years, with petrol up nearly 7p per litre and diesel rising by 8p, according to a new report

August witnessed one of the most significant monthly fuel price increases in 23 years for UK drivers.

That’s according to data from RAC Fuel Watch which shows that petrol prices surged by nearly 7p per litre, while diesel rose by 8p, resulting in the fifth and sixth largest monthly price hikes in more than two decades.

The average unleaded petrol price at the end of August stood at 152.25p, up from 145.57p at the month’s start, adding nearly £4 to a full tank.

Diesel prices increased from 146.36p to 154.37p, making a fill-up around £4.50 more expensive.

According to the report, the surge in petrol prices was only surpassed in recent times by March, May, and June 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Similarly, diesel’s increase ranked behind March, June, and October of the previous year, as well as October 2021 and May 2008, just before oil reached its record high of $144 (£114) a barrel.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “August was a big shock to drivers as they had grown used to seeing far lower prices than last summer’s record highs.

“Seeing £4 or more go on to the cost of a tank in the space of just a few weeks from a pump price rise of 6-7p a litre is galling, particularly for those who drive lots of miles or run an older, less fuel-efficient car.”

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