Petrol prices have risen by 30p per liter in the last 12 months and could reach as high as £ 2 per liter by the end of April.
This week, prices reached an all-time high with petrol exceeding 155p per liter – up from 124.7p last March.
And now, a fuel campaigner has said this is just the beginning with oil prices set to sky-rocket.
Howard Cox from FairFuel UK said: “We are definitely going to see prices rocketing higher – it’s going to hurt terribly and I’m afraid the government are going to have to do something about it.
“I would’ve thought by the end of April it will be £ 2 – so we’re looking at about six or seven weeks.
“Gradually every week it’s going to go up five to 10p, or that sort of magnitude, so it could hit £ 2 sooner.
“What is in the chancellor’s control to help is to cut fuel duty.
“We’re the highest tax drivers in the world. It’s about time he recognized that because of the huge amount of VAT he’s enjoying that there is room to cut fuel duty to help small businesses, haulage companies and the hard pressed motorist.
“Rishi Sunak knows what to do. It’ll be immoral if he did not bring down fuel duty in the next couple of weeks.”
Average petrol prices have now exceeded 155p per liter for the first time ever as oil prices continue to soar, according to the AA.
In March last year, the average price for petrol was 124.7p per liter.
Most recent figures show this has risen by 30.92p to 155.62p – a 24.8% rise in just 12 months.
Similarly for diesel, the average price has increased to 33.71p per liter in the past year (127.57p per liter to 161.28p per liter) – a 26.4% rise.
People across Kent have been sharing their frustration on social media, with tweets sharing prices above 165p per liter at local forecourts in Dover and Sevenoaks.
There are several reasons for the unprecedented levels.
The price of Brent crude oil – the leading global price benchmark for crude oils – rose to its highest level in 14 years this week. This is now making it way to the forecourts.
The panic buying crisis in September, two years of the pandemic and low demand are also causing problems. The RAC says it sees no end in sight.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is said to be adding to the record highs.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced plans to ban Russian oil imports by the end of the year in a further tightening of sanctions on Russia.
However, Mr Cox said that the rise in price is due to speculators and we do not actually rely on Russian oil.
Mr Cox said: “We’re getting our petrol and diesel from refineries in this country and they get them mainly from the Middle East, we do not rely on oil from Russia but the speculators are telling us we are based on their pricings.
“We must not blame the independent forecourt owners, it’s not their fault. It’s much higher up the supply chain.”
Alongside rising costs of living, this increase could mean motorists are struggling to fill up their tanks. Small businesses and taxi drivers will also be directly impacted if the trend continues.
Nigel Jackson from the Medway Licensed Taxi Drivers Association said that their meters are calibrated to the maximum authorized tariff and they can not charge customers more than that.
He said: “Obviously when the fuel prices go up, our profit margins go down drastically,
“There will be some drivers who will quit because they would be going to work for eight to 10 hours and not earning minimum wage because of the rising fuel prices.”
Mr Cox added that to get oil and gas prices back under control there are two methods that need to be used.
Howard Cox from FairFuel UK is calling for an independent watchdog to oversee fuel prices
Firstly, he wants to see a cut in fuel duty to help small businesses, the haulage industry and motorists. He also wants to see an end to “opportunistic profiteering” where companies seem to hike prices when the roads are busier.
Mr Cox explained: “Yesterday, I got up and the price was 140p and three hours later it dropped to 125p. That’s a drop in 15p.
“It’s all because of this opportunistic profiteering and gambling on volatility further up the fuel supply chain and this has got to stop.
“It’s in the Chancellor’s power to put together an independent pricing watchdog – we’ve got it for gas, electiric and telecoms why not petrol.
“There are 37 million drivers in this country and all of them need protection.”
Campaign group Fair Fuel UK claims petrol prices are around 14p higher now than is necessary, after wholesale costs and exchange rates are taken into account, and is calling for an independent pump price watchdog to be brought in to try and control escalating costs in the light of the cost of living crisis.
Among those supporting the proposal is Kent MP Craig Mackinlay who is chairman of the Fair Fuel all-party parliamentary group.
He explained: “A PumpWatch monitor similar to Ofwat or Ofgem could ensure that reductions in oil prices are properly passed on to motorists at the fuel pump.
“It is unjustifiable that motorists continue to be over-charged for their fuel during a period of rapidly rising inflation across the board.
“HM Treasury could also help by using the VAT windfall being derived from high current pump prices.
“The cost-of-living crisis is already proving incredibly painful for many and sanity needs to be restored to petrol pricing as quickly as possible.
KMTV spoke to a Medway Taxi driver who fears rising costs of petrol and diesel will price them out of a living
When asked if we were heading for another crisis on our roads, Mr Cox said: “Heavens forbid.
“I really do not see that problem happening again but some people will still queue if they hear it on the radio
“There is no problem with supply at the moment. We have no problem with oil coming to this country. We get it from all sorts of places outside of Russia. There is no need to panic.”