Drivers warned over record fuel prices
DRIVERS are being warned that fuel prices could reach record levels due to rising oil prices, according to new analysis.
Petrol could reach 143p per litre with diesel costing 148p per litre, the RAC said.
This is based on the price of a barrel of oil hitting 100 US dollars (£72.20), which investment bank JP Morgan has said is a possibility in 2022.
Drivers have already been hit by a £4 increase in the cost of filling up a typical 55-litre family petrol car since December.
Government figures show the average price of a litre of petrol is 121p per litre, while diesel stands at 125p per litre, following rises for 13 consecutive weeks.
The price of a barrel of oil has increased by 20 US dollars (£14.40) in the past three months to around 64 US dollars (£46.20).
Some analysts predict oil could reach 80 US dollars (£57.75) this year, which the RAC said would lead to petrol prices of 130p per litre, with diesel at 135p per litre.
The impact on forecourt prices will be even worse if the pound fails to maintain its recent strong exchange rate with the dollar.
There is also speculation that fuel duty could be hiked in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget on March 3.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Storm clouds are once again gathering over UK forecourts.
"Ironically and rather unfortunately, as economic confidence grows as measures to combat the coronavirus take effect, it's likely to mean drivers end up paying more to fill up in the coming weeks.
"With the Chancellor's Budget now less than two weeks away, the last thing drivers, and possibly the economy, need is a fuel duty increase.
"A hike in duty at a time of rising fuel prices could put unprecedented pressure on lower-income households and might have the negative effect of forcing everyone who depends on their cars to consider cutting back on other spending."