Weakened pound drives up petrol prices

The plunging pound and stock-market speculators mean that filling up the tank of a typical car now costs almost a fiver more than just six weeks ago, according to the AA.

After surging 5p a litre in the space of a month, the price of petrol at the pumps has gone up a further 1p in the last five days, the motoring organisation said. It revealed that the average cost of petrol in the UK is now 138.32p a litre, with diesel having risen 4.78p from its mid-January price to stand at an average of 145.10p.

The latest figures show that petrol has risen 6.24p a litre since early January, adding £3.12 to the cost of refilling a typical 50l tank, while filling up the 70l tank of a Ford Mondeo costs £4.37 more. A two-car family's monthly petrol cost has risen £13.25 with the price surge.

Drivers have been caught between a pound weakened against the dollar and soaring wholesale prices, both due to stock-market speculation.

AA president Edmund King said: "We hope the Chancellor spells out clearly in the forthcoming Budget that he can feel the pressure rocketing fuel-price inflation places on families and business, and that he will cancel the September rise if that strain is too great."

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