Fuel prices still 'stubbornly high'
The price of petrol still remains "stubbornly high", with inflation threatening further rises in the future, latest figures from the AA have shown.
In mid-October, average petrol prices were 134.51p a litre, compared with 135.61p in mid-September. Diesel is averaging 139.65p a litre compared with 139.62p in the middle of last month.
In the period from April to mid-October, the cost of petrol has averaged 135.50p a litre and diesel 139.98p.
Prices peaked at May's record average prices of 137.43p for petrol and 143.04p for diesel, and fell as low as 133.68p for petrol and 137.69p for diesel during the first weekend of July. These summer averages compare with last year's 118p for petrol and 120.25p for diesel.
It means that a family with two cars has typically spent £241.54 more on petrol over this summer compared with a year ago, while filling up an 80-litre commercial van tank has cost on average £15.76 more each time than last summer.
The AA said: "The UK's stubbornly high fuel prices come despite Libyan oil production starting up again and the International Energy Agency forecasting lower global oil demand."
It added that September's RPI inflation figure of 5.6% "casts an even darker shadow over fuel prices next year", threatening to add another 7-8p to the price of petrol and diesel within the next 12 months.
In mid-October 2011, the most expensive petrol was to be found in London, with average prices of 135.6p a litre, while London and Northern Ireland had the dearest diesel - 140.2p a litre. Yorkshire and Humberside remains the cheapest region for petrol (133.7p) and diesel (138.9p).
AA president Edmund King said: "The squeeze from relentlessly high pump prices is due to get worse as driving in the dark and winter weather adds greater fuel consumption to motorists' misery.
"If the Government isn't prepared to tackle high oil and fuel prices and their drain on the nation's wellbeing, it should at least commit to freezing fuel duty until petrol falls at least below 125p a litre and diesel below 130p. If not, even more lower-income and rural motorists will be driven off the road."