Drivers hit by biggest weekly fuel rise in 18 years – thanks to Vladimir Putin

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Drivers have been hit by the biggest weekly rise in fuel prices in at least 18 years due to Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine.

The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts rose from 149.2p on February 28 to 153.0p on Monday, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Average diesel prices rose from 153.4p to 158.6p over the same period.

The weekly increases of 3.8p for petrol and 5.2p for diesel are the largest in records dating back to June 2003.

They mean the cost of filling up a typical 55-litre family car shot up by more than £2 over the past week.

Russia is the world's second-biggest producer of crude oil and supplies a third of Europe’s needs.

The war has raised fears supplies could be cut, driving up prices.

The cost-per-barrel of Brent crude – the most commonly used way of measuring the UK’s oil price – reached $139 (£106) on Monday which was its highest in 14 years.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: "With the tragedy in Ukraine showing no signs of abating it looks like we all need to brace for forecourt prices to continue upward, not least because they tend to lag oil price movements by a week or two. "Inflation is hitting household budgets on all sides.

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"The fact that transport is routinely the single biggest area of household expenditure will make forecourt price hikes particularly hard because for most households those transport costs are associated with running a car.

"Whilst higher pump prices may make more people consider switching to electric cars that’s not a realistic overnight fix.

"In the short term the best most of us can do is look for ways to drive less, perhaps by sharing trips or working from home and going easy on the throttle when we do drive.’’

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Adam Corlett, principal economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, said Britain had `stepped out of a global pandemic and straight into a cost of living crisis’.

"The tragic conflict in Ukraine is likely to further drive up the price of energy and other goods, and worsen the squeeze on incomes that families across Britain are facing.’’

Campaigner FairFuelUK has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut fuel duty to offset the impact of the conflict on motorists.

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  • Vladimir Putin

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