Petrol prices have hit a new three-year high and the new year is expected to bring even more bad news for motorists, with predictions of further rises to come.
The continued rise in the wholesale price of oil has seen the cost of a litre of unleaded reach its highest since December 2014 and diesel has also gone up again.
RAC Fuel Watch figures for December show a litre of unleaded is now 121.11p on average, up half a pence from November, with diesel up 0.4p to 123.46p per litre.
With OPEC continuing to limit production, observers are predicting that the price of oil will continue to climb from its current $66.61 a barrel, forcing up forecourt costs further.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Sadly, December was the month oil reached its highest point for over two and a half years – something which motorists are now feeling the effect of at the pumps.
“It’s hard to see pump prices getting much cheaper in the early part of 2018. Unfortunately, the good times of lower cost fuel appear to be over and it’s probably now far more likely that we will see them going up as OPEC’s oil production cuts are starting to have the desired effect of reducing the global oil glut and pushing the barrel price higher.”
The rises at the end of 2017 mean that the cost of filling the tank of an average family car is now around £4 more than it was in July, when petrol and diesel were at their cheapest.
The North East experienced the biggest increased in the price of unleaded with a litre rising nearly a penny from 120.06p to 120.92p, while London suffered the greatest rise in the price of diesel at 0.94p per litre. Northern Ireland finished 2017 as the cheapest for both fuels with increases of 0.2p and 0.26p leaving petrol at 120.27p and diesel at 121.95p respectively.