Petrol prices: why are UK petrol costs rising near me - compare cheapest current local fuel station cost today

Could we be in for more runaway petrol and diesel prices?

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New analysis has revealed that average fuel prices have gone up by over 3p per litre within just the past three weeks.

According to the RAC, the average cost of a litre of petrol has risen by 3.2p, increasing from 140.0p on 29 January to 143.3p on Monday (19 February).

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Diesel prices have climbed at an even faster rate, experiencing a surge of 4.0p per litre during the same period, increasing from 148.0p to 152.0p.

The price increases come after a three-month downward trend in fuel prices leading up to mid-January, so may be particularly noticeable to drivers. But why are fuel prices going up, and how likely is it that they will continue to increase? Here is everything you need to know.

Why are fuel prices going up?

(Photo: ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)(Photo: ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The pump price hikes have been attributed to a jump in the price of oil, which has been trading above 80 US dollars a barrel for most of the last four weeks.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said Red Sea attacks by Houthi rebels, which are forcing tankers to avoid the Suez Canal and instead go around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, are "clearly playing their part" in the increases.

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But he added that so too are "global refinery maintenance closures, the start of America’s driving season and UK retailers buying more fuel stocks ahead of the Budget to protect against a possible fuel duty hike by the Chancellor."

Will fuel prices continue to rise?

The steady increases in petrol and diesel prices will trigger memories of similar recent price hikes for many motorists. Last August, drivers were hit by the highest monthly price hike for petrol prices at the pump in at least 23 years, as costs spiked on average 7.0p per litre.

Could the same happen again? Williams continued: “News that fuel prices have bottomed out and are now on the rise again is bad for drivers, and possibly the economy and future inflation rates too.

“While we’re not expecting prices to shoot up dramatically, it appears that oil is trading up, which in the absence of a stronger pound means wholesale fuel is costing more for retailers to buy in."

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But, despite the myriad reasons for fuel's recent cost increase, Williams said those on Britain's roads "ought not" to see forecourt prices go up too much more from where they are today, but that "a lot depends on how much margin the biggest retailers decide to take."

How can I compare and find the cheapest prices near me?

To compare and find the cheapest petrol prices near you today, you can use dedicated websites such as PetrolPrices, CompareTheMarket or Confused. These platforms provide real-time information on fuel prices across various locations in the UK.

You could also visit the websites of major petrol station chains like BP, Shell, Esso, and others. Some of these websites have features that allow you to find the nearest station and check current fuel prices.

Also keep an eye on local news sources, as they may occasionally feature updates on petrol prices or promotions happening in your area. Community forums and social media groups can also be valuable sources for real-time information.

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