Drivers 'over a barrel' as petrol prices rise again

The AA says 'drivers find themselves being dragged over a barrel' Credit: PA

The price of petrol at the pumps is back at near-record levels, acording to the AA who publish the monthly figures.

Petrol at UK pumps now costs an average of 139.71p a litre - within 3p of the 142.48p a litre record set in mid April.

Diesel now costs an average 143.98p a litre compared with the mid-April record of 147.93p.

Petrol had fallen to a summer low of 130.81p a litre and diesel to 136.12p - both on July 1.

The Basingstoke based AA said that since then, the cost of a typical 50-litre tank refill has risen £4.45 and £6.29 for an 80-litre commercial van tank. A two-car family is seeing its monthly petrol costs rise by £18.90.

AA president Edmund King said: "Once again UK drivers find themselves being dragged over a barrel, as does business and Bank of England inflation targets.

"Last week, Government statistics showed that traffic on minor country roads fell by 5% - such was the impact of record high fuel prices on rural communities."

He went on: "Traditionally, the price of petrol falls off at the end of summer, which makes five-year-high refining margins pushing up pump prices a particularly bitter pill to swallow."