Drivers have been warned of soaring petrol prices as the cost of filling up cars has risen by 8p per litre so far this year.

A 1.6p increase over the past week has brought the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts to a five-month high of 148.5p, according to Government data.

That is compared with 140.8p at the start of the year.

There has not been a sharper weekly rise since August 2023.

Worcester News:

Average pump prices for diesel have increased to 157.5p, which is the most expensive level since November 2023.

RAC fuel price spokesperson Simon Williams said: “This year is proving to be another tough one for drivers.

“Both petrol and diesel are now the most expensive they’ve been since November last year, which is bad for households, businesses and the economy, especially as we know there is a close link between fuel prices and inflation.

“With increased tensions in the Middle East, the cost of oil is only likely to go up which could push petrol well above 150p a litre.

“While diesel is getting close to 160p, this is purely down to retailers taking much bigger margins as there’s only been a few pence between the wholesale prices of both fuels since mid-March.

“We find it hard to believe that a margin of 13p a litre on diesel – compared to the long-term average of 8p – is fair.

“This surely won’t go unnoticed by the Competition and Markets Authority which only two weeks ago expressed its concern about higher retailer margins.”

AA fuel price spokesman, Luke Bosdet, said: “Pump prices are climbing towards the 150p-a-litre average that drivers fear.

“It is a psychological shock that shouts out from the price boards each time motorists drive past.

“The worst part is that petrol prices will be spurred on by the inflationary pressures of higher demand as the US motoring season looms.

“The early part of the summer could be a tough time for UK motorists.”