Petrol prices have soared to a fresh record high, piling further pressure on already squeezed households battling steeper food and energy bills.
The AA said the cost of petrol hit 148.02p a litre on average over the weekend, marking a new all-time high. The last record high was 147.72p a litre in late November.
Diesel prices have also spiralled, with the average price for a litre currently at 151.57p, compared to 151.10p on Nov 20.
The AA’s Luke Bodset said: “The cost of living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases.”
A combination of soaring inflation, tax hikes and high energy prices are expected to add an average £2,922 to annual bills this year, Telegraph analysis of official data has suggested.
The Bank of England has forecast inflation is forecast to hit 7.25pc in April from its current rate of 5.4pc.
Meanwhile, wage growth has struggled to keep pace, and was at 4.2pc towards the end of 2021, sparking the worst cost-of-living crisis in generations.
Soaring costs at the pump come amid growing concerns over a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ministers are concerned that Russia could block gas supplies from reaching Western Europe if the situation deteriorates, sending prices surging even higher.
Around a fifth of the UK’s diesel comes from refineries overseen by the Kremlin, with fears mounting over the potential for sudden disruption if Russia invades Ukraine. Almost 13m cars on Britain’s roads run on diesel.
Last week, the Government attempted to allay concerns, saying: “The UK is a significant producer of both crude oil and petroleum products and holds oil stocks in the unlikely event of a major oil supply disruption.”
The latest increases follow months of pressure on drivers in Britain.
Last month, petrol retailers came under fire from the RAC, which accused them of not passing on wholesale price cuts to customers. According to the RAC, in December, people were paying 2p less for petrol per litre, but should have been paying 12p less.