Drivers faced continued price increases after another 3.4p and 2.7p were added to a litre of petrol and diesel respectively during July.
The month saw the largest increase in the price of unleaded since January, putting the average price of a litre of fuel at 135.13p – a price not seen since late September 2013.
A litre of diesel now costs 137.06 on average, too. Both price rises meant that last month was the most expensive July to fill up with petrol since 2013 and for diesel since 2014.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Prices really are only going one way at the moment – and that’s not the way drivers want to see them going. With a second summer staycation in full swing, it’s proving to be a particularly costly one for many families who are using their cars to holiday here in the UK. With so many people depending on their vehicles, there’s really nothing drivers can do to escape the high prices, and our best advice is for them to drive as economically as possible in order to try to make their money go further.
“Right now it’s hard to see what it will take for prices to start falling again. While we’re not past the pandemic by any means, demand for oil is likely to continue to increase as economic activity picks up again, and this is likely to have the effect of pushing up wholesale fuel prices, costs which retailers are bound to pass on at the pumps.
“Unless major oil producing nations decide a new strategy to increase output, we could very well see forecourt prices going even higher towards the end of the summer.”
An owner filling up their 55-litre car with petrol now pays, on average, £3.08 more than they did at the start of June and £11.47 more than they did a year ago. Brimming a similarly-sized tank with diesel now costs £2.90 more than at the start of June and £10.46 more than at the end of July 2020.
As the world begins to unlock amid a global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – as well as increased travel and successful vaccination programmes – the demand for oil is on the rise. Though there has been little change in the cost of a barrel of oil, it did touch close to the $80 (£57.51) mark towards the start of July.
Drivers are still able to find the best deals at the supermarkets, however. Prices of a litre of petrol here are around 3p cheaper than average and more than 16p less than you’ll pay for a litre of fuel at a motorway service station.