Diesel pump prices rose for the fifth month in a row in April with prices likely to rise further in the coming months, says RAC Fuel Watch.
It went up by 0.62p per litre to 129.73ppl, while the cost of unleaded petrol increased to 0.89ppl to end the month at an average of 127.19ppl, its highest price since January 2020 and the sixth consecutive time it had gone up.
The cost of a barrel of oil rose $4.82 during April to $66.93, which has also seen wholesale diesel and petrol prices on the rise.
This is likely to translate into even higher pump prices for drivers in May, says RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.
He added: “April marks six months of rising petrol prices and sadly there’s no end in sight as oil is getting perilously close to hitting $70 a barrel – something we haven’t seen for more than two years.
“If oil breaks this threshold, it will inevitably spell more bad news for drivers at the pumps.
“With lockdown restrictions easing, it’s very frustrating for drivers that they’re now having to contend with even higher fuel prices just at the point where many will be driving a lot more.
“But unfortunately, it’s the very fact people are driving more that’s causing petrol prices to go up as demand for oil – and in turn fuel – begins to outpace supply.
“The saving grace is the relative strength of the pound compared to the US dollar on world currency exchange markets.
As oil is traded in dollars, a stronger pound means it costs less to buy for refining into motor fuel.
“If the value of the pound were to tumble, we’d all be paying much more at the pumps than we are at the moment.
“Progress in the global battle against the coronavirus will be critical in determining where fuel prices go from here.
“The success of domestic vaccination schemes could lead to greater demand for fuel and in turn rising prices due to global supply restrictions.
“Ongoing travel restrictions in other countries around the world may also prolong oil output restrictions and force fuel prices in the UK higher still.
“Currently, diesel car drivers have genuine cause to feel let down by fuel retailers as they should really be paying a lot less per litre to fill up as the wholesale price has been similar to that of petrol for most of April. Despite this, diesel is 2p a litre more expensive than petrol at 129.73p.”
RAC said the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – are currently charging 4.5ppl less for unleaded than the UK average, and 4.19ppl less for diesel.
At the other end of the scale, it costs more than 18ppl than the national average to fill up with petrol or diesel at motorway services.
Find out what the average fuel price is in your region on the Fleet News Regional Fuel Price page.