The price of diesel hit a new record in May, despite the cut in fuel duty, as the war in Ukraine continued to affect forecourt prices.

On May 15th the price of diesel reached 180.29 pence per litre, beating the previous high of 179.90p from March.

Although the UK has moved to stop importing diesel from Russia, the struggle to find alternative sources has led to supplies being restricted and prices increasing. The RAC, which monitors forecourt prices and lobbies retailers to charge a fair price for petrol and diesel, has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reduce VAT to 15% to help drivers.

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps,” said Simon Williams, fuel spokesperson for the RAC.

“Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement,” said Mr Williams.

Petrol was also on the rise in May, reaching 166.65 pence per litre, less than a penny away from the previous high of 167.30p in March. The EU’s decision to ban all Russian oil imports by sea (though not pipeline oil) by the end of the year is also likely to see a further impact on fuel prices in the UK.