New RAC Fuel Watch data shows that the average price of atank of fuel is now £12 more expensive than last year due to the average risingprice of petrol and diesel. Unleaded increased by 1.5p to 136.83p, making the ofpetrol 22p a litre more expensive than a year ago. Similarly, the price of dieselrose by 2.5p to 139.25p, 21p more expensive than in 2020.

According to the RAC, both petrol and diesel are at priceslast seen in autumn 2013, with petrol only being 5.65p off the all-time high of142.48p and diesel 8.68p off the record of 147.93p.

Despite the panic at the pumps towards the end of September,the rise in prices has not been driven by the fuel delivery crisis but by a10.65% increase in the price of oil from $71.29 to $78.88 throughout September.

Simon Williams, fuel spokesman at the RAC, said: “Not onlyare motorists struggling to put fuel in their vehicles, but they are alsohaving to pay through the nose for it as the rising cost of a barrel of oil iscausing further pain at the pumps.

“As life moves ever closer to normal as the world gets togrips with Covid-19, demand for oil is outpacing supply, and with producergroup OPEC+ deciding on Monday not to release more oil, the barrel price hasnow broken through the $80-mark for the first time in more than three years.”

Analysts are predicting a further rise, with the potentialfor prices to reach $90 before the end of the year.

According to the RAC, those who have filled up a 55-litrefamily car with petrol at the end of September would have paid £75.26, anincrease of 85p in September and £12.22 compared to a year ago. Currently, afull tank of diesel is £76.59, up £1.40 in September and £11.63 more than ayear ago, the data found.

When comparing the prices between supermarkets and servicestations, the RAC found that at four major supermarkets fuel was 4p a litre cheaperthan the UK average. Meanwhile, at motorway services, fuel was 15p moreexpensive, with petrol at 151.55p and diesel at 156.35p.

Breaking it down further, it was found that Asda sold thecheapest unleaded petrol, at 132p while Sainsbury’s offered the lowest price fordiesel at 134.28p.

Williams added: “Drivers have had to endure the averageprice of petrol going up for 10 out of the last 12 months and now, because ofthe supply crisis, many have had great difficulty getting hold of it just sothey can go about their daily lives.

“While we’ve heard of some smaller retailers takingadvantage of the situation by charging very high prices for their fuel, thesecases appear to be few and far between, with most retailers acting responsibly.

“As forecourts’ fuel stocks return to normal drivers willinevitably switch from worrying about whether they can get the petrol or dieselthey need to just how much a fill-up is costing them.

“Drivers in London and Southeast will undoubtedly feelparticularly hard done by as they are still experiencing problems with gettinghold of fuel while also paying the highest prices in the UK.”

While the panic at the pubs may be subsiding in the shortterm, the increasing prices seem to suggest that the frustrations which comewith filling up may be short-lived.