Drivers are set to be hit with a price hike on the forecourts, industry observers have warned.
Following a small drop in the price of unleaded petrol in October costs are expected to jump in coming weeks as retailers move quickly to pass on wholesale cost increases to consumers.
The price of a barrel of oil jumped nine per cent over the course of October, going above $60 per barrel for the first time since July 2015.
“Inevitably, this increase will be passed on to motorists on the forecourt far more quickly than the cuts were made last month”
Over the month the price of petrol fell 0.67p per litre to an average of 118.17p while diesel rose for the fourth month in a row, by 0.59p to 120.8p per litre.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “At the start of October there was a 6p saving in the wholesale price of unleaded which retailers eventually passed on to motorists in pump price reductions. This month, however, the situation is reversed and the petrol wholesale price has gone up by 4p.
“Inevitably, this increase will be passed on to motorists on the forecourt far more quickly than the cuts were made last month, but that is unfortunately the nature of ‘big’ fuel retailing: pass on wholesale rises quickly and cling on to savings for as long as possible.
“Motorists may yet be spared from large pump prices if the United States takes advantage of the higher oil price to bring more fracking rigs online as this will bring more product on to the market, no doubt easing the barrel price.
“Eyes will also switch to the Chancellor who delivers his Budget this month, and with higher wholesale costs filtering down to the forecourts, the last thing they’ll want to see is an increase in fuel duty. We urge the Chancellor to resist this and leave the rate unchanged.”
The average price of a litre of unleaded at the UK’s four biggest supermarkets is 114.81p – 1p less than it was at the start of October, while diesel is nearly a penny more expensive, going up from 116.82p to 117.72p.