Perol and diesel prices in the UK have reached an eight-year high amid the supply crisis as panic-buying leasds to intense demand for fuel.
The average price of a litre of petrol across the UK rose from 135.87p on Friday to 136.59p on Sunday, according to figures from the RAC. This is the highest that pump prices have been since September 2013.
Meanwhile, the price of wholesale petrol has also risen from 123.25p on Monday September 20 to 125.22p just four days later, with the RAC warning that this could cause pump prices to rise further.
Simon Williams, an RAC fuel spokesman, called the situation a “bleak picture for drivers.”
He explained: “With the cost of oil rising and now near a three-year high, wholesale prices are being forced up which means retailers are paying more than they were just a few days ago for the same amount of fuel.
“This has led to the price of a litre of unleaded already going up by a penny since Friday.”
He went on to say that prices could increase in the next few days, “irrespective of the current supply problems”, before adding: “We are also aware of a small number of retailers taking advantage of the current delivery situation by hiking prices.”
He also suggested drivers “always compare the price they’re being asked to pay with the current UK averages which are 136.69p for petrol and 138.58p for diesel.”
One service station in Wetherby, near Leeds, was charging 153.9p for unleaded on Monday.
Outraged drivers took to social media to tell stories of their experiences of the petrol price rise.
One Twitter used, John Pile, wrote: “I came across a petrol station yesterday where the queue wasn’t bad (7-8 minutes), so I joined it and filled up.
“While there, the queue extended miles down the road as word obviously spread it was accessible. They then put the price up. Just proves people are causing hysteria.”
Meanwhile another tweeted that they’d apparently “noticed petrol stations are turning the price display off so you don’t know how much they are charging until you lift the pump.
Howard Cox, founder of campaign group FairFuelUK, said that price increases of between 5p and 10p per litre have become “the norm in the last few days”.
He went on: “I’m hearing in Ashford, Kent, they were all queuing up for fuel at one filling station on the A20 in Maidstone on Saturday.
“They put their prices up to £1.48 a litre to profiteer from it. Shell in particular is selling at £1.48, Texaco £1.46.”
As well as anger, there was disappointment with Tory MP Craig Mackinlay saying: “It’s disappointing to see reports of pump price profiteering in some areas of the country.
He went on to urge retailers “not to take advantage of the situation” and called for “ trustworthy pricing at the pumps.”
The news comes as Environment Secretary George Eustice said today that the government has “no plans at the moment” to use the army to drive petrol tankers amid fuel shortages.
Mr Eustice also called on motorists to stop “panic buying” and go back to their normal patterns of purchasing petrol.
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