In Depth

Brexit uncertainty ‘set to send petrol prices to record high’

RAC says drivers may soon be forking out £70 for tank of fuel

The average cost of a full tank of petrol may hit a record high of £70 “within weeks”, the RAC has warned. 

The roadside assistance company predicts that the fluctuating price of the pound caused by uncertainty over Brexit negotiations, coupled with the rising price of oil, will push fuel prices to “heights never seen before in the UK”, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The warning comes in the wake of a J.P. Morgan report that suggests the price of oil may reach $90 (£70) per barrel following the introduction of US sanctions on Iranian exports in November, the newspaper adds. 

“A further increase in the price of oil would almost certainly mean higher fuel prices for UK drivers,” said RAC spokesperson Simon Williams. “The only thing that could stop that happening would be a dramatic boost to the value of the pound, which has been very volatile recently, partly as a result of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.”

He added: “If a rise in the oil price were to coincide with a further fall in the value of the pound against the dollar, the effect on prices at the pumps would be severe, with drivers likely facing record high prices of above 142p per litre for petrol and 148p per litre for diesel.”

According to The Sun, the average cost of a litre of petrol stands at £1.31, while diesel comes in at £1.35. 

And though government data yesterday showed there had been no weekly increase in the price of petrol for the first time in three months, fuel prices by the barrel haven’t “been more expensive than current levels since July 2014”, the newspaper adds. 

RAC director Steve Gooding said: “While pump prices are taking a breather, it’s worth remembering how much they have risen over the past 12 months.

“On average, drivers of petrol cars are paying about £6.50 more to fill up at the pumps today compared with a year ago. For diesel it's around £7.70 more.

“It would be nice to think that prices can’t go any higher but, with oil up 3% on Monday to a four-year high of $81 (£62) a barrel, nobody can say that with certainty.”

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