Drivers have been warned to expect a spike in fuel prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Petrol and diesel prices hit new record highs on Tuesday, according to one market analyst, and industry observers are predicting further sharp rises as the crisis affects global oil markets.
Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show that on Tuesday the average cost of a litre of petrol in the UK reached 149.30p, while diesel cost 152.68p.
On Thursday morning the price of Brent crude oil hit an eight-year high at $102.30 per barrel and fuel retailers are expected to pass any price rises on to drivers.
The RAC’s fuel spokesman Simon Williams said Russia’s military action would drive up oil prices further, which would inevitably push up wholesale petrol and diesel prices.
He said: “If the oil price were to increase to 110 US dollars per barrel there’s a very real danger the average price of petrol would hit £1.55 a litre.
“This would cause untold financial difficulties for many people who depend on their cars for getting to work and running their lives as it would skyrocket the cost of a full tank to £85.
At $120 a barrel – without any change to the exchange rate which is currently at $1.35 – we would be looking at £1.60 a litre and £88 for a full tank.”
AA president Edmund King said: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine and resulting geopolitical uncertainty has pushed Brent crude above 100 US dollars per barrel for first time since 2014.
“This will result in hikes in prices at the pumps. New record fuel prices are likely any time soon.”
Fuel prices have been rising almost constantly over the past 12 months as demand for oil returned to pre-pandemic levels and key producers continued to limit supply.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine have worsened the situation as it is among the world’s biggest oil producers and there are growing fears over disruption to oil supplies, leading to higher wholesale prices.