Petrol cost rises well above inflation

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The Independent Online

The price of petrol at the pumps rose by well above the rate of inflation between mid-January and mid-February this year, the AA said today.

The average price of petrol rose 4.28p a litre to 90.88p a litre, adding £2.12 to the cost of a 50-litre tank refill.

Average diesel prices rose 2p to 100.79p a litre.

The AA said the average petrol rise at supermarkets was 4.98p a litre compared with non-supermarket increases of 4.2p a litre.

Across the country, the rural areas remain the most expensive areas of the country to buy petrol, with south-west England outlets averaging most at 91.5p a litre and north-west England the cheapest at 90.4p.

Wales, Northern Ireland and south-west England have seen the biggest rise in petrol prices, although their diesel prices have been more stable than in south-east England and London.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters said: "As they did early last year, supermarkets have allowed their prices to rise faster than other retailers, while some oil company fuel stations have taken the competitive lead.

"Drivers, who see recession, a collapsed oil price and falling inflation, are irritated by pump prices that continue to go up at a rate they associate with the soaring prices last year.

"European motoring clubs have run out of patience and have written to the EU competition commissioner calling for an inquiry. Greater transparency in fuel pricing is long overdue."