Petrol prices hit record highs.

There has been little in the way of demonstrations this month despite the fact that record high petrol prices have pushed annual inflation up to 3.4%. Maybe motorists feel that the war is lost.

The Office for National Statistics reported the Consumer Price Index had increased by 3% in March after a further bout of petrol price rises. Petrol in March rose by an average of 2.7%. Petrol prices have now reached a new record high, having broken the previous record of 119.7p a litre set in July 2008.

With election fever reaching its peak, the government’s 1p increase in petrol duty on April 1st is badly timed but very few people are aware how much tax they are really paying on their visit to the petrol station.

In reality, a litre of unleaded petrol in this country costs only 40p. Add on the retailer’s profit of 5p and petrol is still looking pretty cheap compared with, say, a bottle of drinking water.

Now add on Fuel Duty at 58p and VAT at 18p and you now know why we are paying so much. That’s right – 76p is just TAX!. And before you write in and ask, yes you are paying VAT on the tax element as well – a classic case of tax on tax. Oh yes, don’t forget you have already been taxed once on the money you use to pay for your top-up.

In March, unleaded prices rose by 4.4p per litre (p.p.l.) from 116.1 p.p.l. to 120.5 p.p.l. Diesel prices have also risen sharply from 116.9 p.p.l. to 121.6 p.p.l.

Drivers in Northern Ireland are paying the most for their unleaded petrol at 121.2 p.p.l. whilst Yorkshire and Humberside recorded the lowest price for unleaded at 119.6 p.p.l. Northern Ireland also recorded the highest diesel price at 122.4. p.p.l. Yorkshire and Humberside currently have the cheapest diesel at 120.6. p.p.l. A small but significant difference – especially for commercial users who are really feeling the pinch as the recession continues to claim more companies each month.

Supermarket prices have also been rising over the month with unleaded up 5p to 118.8 p.p.l.

The UK currently has the eleventh highest unleaded petrol in Europe and the second highest diesel price.

(Data supplied by Arriva)

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