The price of petrol has increased at a record level during June, making the UK the 10th most expensive country for unleaded petrol and the second highest for diesel.
According to the AA, unleaded prices have risen by 5.6p per litre to 118.2p in the past month while diesel prices have risen by 7.4p to 131.6p.
Motorists in the South East are suffering the most, with unleaded petrol hitting 118.9p a litre. Londoners are currently forking out 118.8p per litre of unleaded petrol while diesel users in Scotland and the South West currently have to pay an average of 132.2p per litre.
The lowest price tags for both petrol and diesel are in Yorkshire and Humberside where drivers currently pay 116.9p and 130.7p per litre.
Edmund King, the AA's president, warns the recent tanker strike-action has overshadowed the threat British drivers face from accelerating fuel prices.
“These record fuel prices are affecting the mobility and livelihoods of many motorists,” he adds. “Individual motorists and fleet drivers are cutting back on their journeys and following economical driving tips but are still stung by record prices at the pumps.”
The AA is continuing to call for the government to abandon the 2p per litre increase and consider what measures could be taken to help low-income motorists and those dependent on their car.
The soaring cost of crude oil – now nearly $140 a barrel - is also posing a serious threat to households across the UK amid fears that energy bills could increase by 40%. A quarter of households are now on the brink of falling into fuel poverty, a charity has warned.
The National Energy Action (NEA), which campaigns against fuel poverty, says anticipated price rises would cause an additional 1.6 million households to become fuel poor. There are already 4.5 million households across the UK considered fuel poor, meaning if soaring crude oil costs do force suppliers to introduce more price hikes, more than 6 million households will be unable to afford to heat their homes this winter.
Jenny Saunders, the chief executive of the NEA, says that unprecedented price hikes will reverse all of the government’s progress on the problem of fuel poverty.
“Improvements in energy efficiency virtually halved fuel poverty by 2002 from its 1998 figure,” he adds. “But now the situation is as bad as it was 10 years ago. If prices do go up at the rate that has been projected then we will be in a very dangerous place and the scale of the problem would be as bad as it has been for a very long time.”