Fuel prices have reached new record highs, with an average tank of petrol now costing more than £80.
The price of petrol jumped to an all-time high of 148.02p per litre at the weekend, days after diesel reached a record 151.57p, according to the AA.
The latest rises come as wholesale oil prices climb and household face soaring living costs.
Oil prices have surged from around $60 per barrel in February 2021 to $98 this month as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels and tensions in eastern Europe affect markets.
The latest price rises mean it now costs £81.41 to fill the average family car’s tank with petrol, and £383.36 for a diesel fill-up.
The AA’s fuel spokesman Luke Bosdet said the rises put even more pressure on families already struggling with soaring household bills.
He commented: “The cost of living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases.”
The RAC’s fuel spokesman Simon Williams warned that further rises could be on the horizon as wholesale prices continued to rise.
He said: “With the oil price teetering on the brink of $100 a barrel and retailers keen to pass on the increase in wholesale fuel quickly, new records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks.
“The oil price is rising due to tensions between Russia – the world’s third biggest oil producer – and Ukraine, along with oil production remaining out of kilter with demand as the world emerges from the pandemic. As a result drivers in the UK could be in for an even worse ride as pump prices look certain to go up even more.
“On a positive note, retailer margins – which were the reason drivers paid overly high prices in December and January – have now returned to more normal levels of around 7p a litre. We urge the big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, to play fair with drivers and not to make a bad situation on the forecourt any worse by upping their margins again.”
As well as tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week blamed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for failing to increase production to meet Opec quotas.
It said that the two countries had capacity to increase output which would help ease market volatility but had so far chosen not to as prices spiralled.