Hard hit motorists may be wondering when they’re going to get a break – after the price of diesel surged to a new high in the UK of 143.05 pence per litre.
Previously, the peak price for diesel was 143.04p per litre – a figure that was reached in May, 2011 during the so-called “Arab spring”. Now however, the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) has described the figures as a “disaster for motorists” with its chairman Brian Madderson also suggesting that it will put the livelihoods of potentially 100s of fuel retailers at risk.
According to motoring organisation the AA, the price of filling up a commercial van with a typical 80litre fuel tank has now risen from £90 two years ago to £114 today.
Perhaps even more worrying is that the cost of motoring is not the only area that will be affected by the price increase. Defra has issued a statement updating its Food Statistics Pocketbook, showing that food prices have risen by 25 per cent since the start of the financial crisis in 2008 – an increase in real terms of 12 per cent. This could be further impacted by the increase in transport costs.
AA President Edmund King spoke out about the diesel price hike suggesting that delivery and haulage firms are likely to add a diesel surcharge to invoices and that costs will increase faster than most people expect as a result. Meanwhile, Mr Madderson referred to a “perfect storm” occurring due to increases in crude oil prices, as well as the closing of refineries and further pressures on supply, which could mean that both diesel and petrol prices could rise further ahead of Easter. Now there are calls for Chancellor George Osborne to cut fuel tax in next month’s Budget with the AA even writing directly to the Chancellor to ask for an investigation into the fuel market to protect both families and businesses.
How to keep prices down
With further price increases planned for August, there looks set to be no reprieve for motorists. However, there are actions they can take to keep costs in check.
The obvious step is to use your car less – try to walk and cycle for short journeys; consider car sharing; and plan your route to avoid travelling during peak times and to shorten your journey where possible. Also consider more economical forms of driving, such as avoiding harsh acceleration and braking, reducing the weight you are carrying in your car and driving with your tyres correctly inflated.
In addition, shop around for car insurance using comparison websites and take advantage of motoring voucher codes. Currently, the AA has a deal that could save you as much as €297 on your car insurance before March 21, 2012.