Petrol prices have hit a record average level of 121.76p for a litre of unleaded petrol, according to the monitors Experian Catalist.
However, the situation is set to get worse when VAT is increased by 2% in January. Experian Catalist estimates that higher VAT will add 2.5p and fuel duties will add a further 1p a litre to prices.
The diesel price of 125.73p a litre is 8p away from its record of July 2008.
AA president Edmund King said the record high petrol prices were partly down to the freezing weather disrupting fuel deliveries. The price of oil - currently at about $90 a barrel - has been trading at its highest level for this year and is also putting pressure on fuel prices.
The AA said the record fuel prices meant motorists would have to pay an average of almost £6 more to fill an average tank compared with the start of the year (the above was extracted from an article by the BBC).
What to do about it?
The price of petrol varies massively between individual petrol throughout the UK, even those run by the same company. The reason for these differences is down to the size of the company running the petrol station, the size of the station’s customer base and the size of the competition. All these factors will determine how much they can get away with charging.
So it makes perfect sense to shop around for the best price when filling up your car. Obviously driving about looking for the best forecourt price would be a false economy as the amount you saved would be offset by the cost of the petrol you used during your search. But there is an answer………
There are petrol price comparison websites which hunt out the best prices for you. I personally use www.petrolprices.com. By simply putting your postcode into their search engine they will tell you the cheapest petrol stations near your location and how far away they are. You will need to sign up to the website in order to start using it, but, to date they have sent me nothing more than a weekly email detailing the best petrol prices in my area. (hardly that intrusive). The savings can be significant, for example, in my area the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest petrol price is over 8%. The best idea is to keep an eye on which are the cheapest petrol stations in your area and fill up when you next drive past them. That way you are not wasting petrol trying to save money.
(Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)