And motorists can expect more financial misery as oil prices continue to rocket.
Petrol and diesel prices have hit their highest level for three-and-a-half years, and experts predict that more rises are on the way.
According to the RAC, the average price of a litre of petrol hit 126.62p last week, while the average litre of diesel went up to 129.41p. It’s the most British motorists have paid since November 2014, and it means filling a typical 55-litre fuel tank with diesel now costs almost £80.
However, the organisation expects drivers to face even more financial misery over the next few weeks, forecasting a further price hike of 2p per litre. If this comes to fruition, motorists could be staring down the barrel of the highest prices in more than six years.
The RAC blames the rises on oil-producing nations limiting output and the US sanctions on Iran – the third-biggest oil producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This has caused the price of oil to surge by $30 (£22.47) since July, with a barrel now costing around $80 (£59.93).
Should the price of oil rise towards $100 (£74.90) a barrel, RAC spokesman Simon Williams predicts record fuel costs.
‘Fuel prices are now at their highest since mid-October 2014 which means we are paying 25p more a litre than we were at the start of 2016 when oil crashed to $26 a barrel and the average price of both fuels was around 101p,’ he said.
‘If the price of oil goes up towards $100 a barrel we will very likely see a return to the dark days of April 2012 when petrol and diesel hit record highs. Even though the oil price was higher then (around $120 a barrel), today’s weaker exchange rate will lead to similar prices at the pumps.’