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Petrol prices reach record high – here’s why

Average UK petrol prices surpass 148p a litre – and diesel hasn’t fared any better. cinch explains what’s causing the fuel price hike.

UK motorists are feeling the pinch as petrol prices have surpassed 148 pence per litre for the first time, new figures have shown. The AA reported that average petrol prices reached 148.02p per litre on Sunday, beating the previous high of 147.72p from November 2021.

This means it now costs an eye-watering average of £74.01 to fill up a hatchback with a 50-litre petrol tank, and £125.82 to brim an SUV with an 85-litre tank.

Diesel hasn’t fared much better, reaching its own record of 151.57p per litre last week, according to the AA. But why? And how can you beat the hike? Our answers follow...

The causes of the UK fuel price hike? The factors impacting prices at the pump.

Firstly, the Covid-19 pandemic’s extended impacts on the global supply chain of petrol and diesel remain extensive. Delays to shipping and fuel transportation, a worker shortage, caused partly by the volume of quarantining employees, and a recent and sudden surge in demand for fuel has seen the supply chain struggle to keep up. Oil prices have risen almost in tandem.

Additionally, since the UK departed the EU, the country’s lorry driver shortage has been exacerbated, sending wages for heavy goods vehicle drivers up, therefore increasing the cost of delivery for fuel, adding to skyrocketing inflation that’s already putting a squeeze on your collective wallets and purses.

But there’s a bigger, more immediate factor driving up prices at the pump. Recent political tensions in Eastern Europe have seen wholesale fuel prices rise with concerns that conflict could hinder fuel supply chains further. Plus, Brent crude oil (which is used to supply much of Northern Europe with petrol and diesel) prices reached a seven-year high of over $95.40US per barrel on Monday. The rise doesn’t look to be slowing yet, either.

How to reduce your fuel usage

You can adjust your driving style to improve the efficiency of your car’s engine. It makes a bigger difference than you’d think. Driving more smoothly, accelerating steadily and coasting down hills are effective methods in saving fuel.

As is leaving your car’s stop/start technology (if it has it) switched on, so your engine turns off when you’re in traffic. Also, make sure your car is set to its most efficient mode, normally labelled as Eco or Economy.

Cars to beat the price hikes

Many motorists are seeing now as the perfect time to switch to a more efficient car, not only to save fuel during this period of growing prices, but also in a bid to ready themselves for the electrification of British roads.

From 2035, the UK will ban the sale of new purely petrol- or diesel-powered cars, so the trend is an inevitable one. Handily, cinch has cars perfectly suited to this transition period, including our range of hybrid cars available entirely online. You don’t even have to burn fuel to find the car you love – do it online and we’ll drive it to your door. We’ve listed helpful articles to help you find the perfect efficient car below – and get ahead of the 2035 transition.