Motorists saw the average price of both petrol and diesel rise by more than 2p a litre in August and prices are likely to rise further still, according to the latest RAC Fuel Watch report.
The average price of unleaded rose from 115.25p per litre to 117.51p, while average diesel prices increased from 116.09p per litre to 118.37p.
This meant the cost of filling a typical 55-litre family car went up by £1.24 to £64.63, and a similar-sized tank of diesel increased by £1.25 to £65.10.
The RAC blames the price rise on Storm Harvey disrupting oil refining facilities when it hit the United States’ Gulf Coast at the end of August.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says: “Sadly, fuel prices went up for the second consecutive month in August, but the 2p a litre increase is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg as motorists are likely to see further forecourt rises in the next week because of the disruption to oil refiners in Texas.
“The price of producing petrol tends to be primarily affected by the cost of crude oil and the exchange rate as it’s traded in dollars. But it is also affected by global market forces for the refined product itself and we often see the price move up and down according to supply and demand issues. This has been the case since Storm Harvey as petrol is now in shorter supply. It has also been compounded by a drop in the region’s crude oil production. There is, however, a glimmer of hope as the latest assessments from the States have revealed the damage to the oil infrastructure caused by Storm Harvey is less extensive than had been feared.
“Despite this, pump prices in the UK will no doubt rise in the coming days. We still expect to see the price of petrol overtake that of diesel, although the wholesale price of diesel is also starting to increase. This, together with an early month rise in the oil price, means the outlook for fuel prices in September is not good.”
Northern Ireland remains the cheapest, while the South East has the priciest fuel
On a regional basis, Wales suffered the biggest increase in the price of unleaded in August, with a litre rising 2.48p on average from 114.61p to 117.09p. Northern Ireland meanwhile had the cheapest average petrol across the month, ranging in price from 113.96p at the start of the month to 116.30p at the end. The South East had the most expensive petrol on average, closing at 117.98p a litre.
The North East endured the greatest rise in the price of diesel with a litre going up by 2.42p to 117.68p on average. Northern Ireland meanwhile, had both the smallest price rise at just 2.11p and the cheapest diesel, ending the month at 116.93p. The South East still has the most expensive diesel in the country, closing August at 118.95p a litre on average.