The average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol has exceeded £100 for the first time on what was labelled a “truly dark day” for drivers.
Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a record 182.3p on Wednesday.
That was an increase of 1.6p compared with Tuesday, taking the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car to £100.27.
The average price of a litre of diesel on Wednesday was 188.1p, meaning to fill up a tank of diesel would set a driver back £103.43.
The RAC’s Simon Williams said: “It’s a truly dark day today for drivers with petrol now crossing the thoroughly depressing threshold of £100 a tank … there’s almost certainly going to be upward inflationary pressure, which is bad news for everybody.
“While fuel prices have been setting new records on a daily basis, households up and down the country may never have expected to see the cost of filling an average-sized family car reach three figures.”
The RAC is calling for the government to step in to cut fuel duty further or temporarily reduce VAT to help drivers.
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Petrol retailers have been accused of profiteering and not passing on the 5p cut to fuel duty introduced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in his spring statement in March.
The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has urged retailers to pass on the cut and asked the Competition and Markets Authority to examine the issue, with a potential formal investigation looming.
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign, defended retailers, claiming oil refineries were to blame. He said: “With what they are paying for crude oil, the numbers do not stack up. The fall in the price of oil is not being passed on.”
A fall in the value of the pound against the dollar has also increased the cost of buying fuel wholesale for retailers.