Unleaded fuel has passed the £1 a litre markAverage petrol prices set a new milestone as UK motorists counted the cost of crude
's surge towards 100 US dollars a barrel.
The average price based on Tuesday's figures showed drivers are now having to pay 100.08p a litre for unleaded petrol, the AA said.
The £1 breakthrough came as fears over winter fuel supplies caused the cost of light, sweet crude for December delivery to rise as high as 98.62 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The figure eased after a government report said
inventories fell less than expected last week while refinery utilisation also remained flat.
In London, Brent crude rose to more than 94 US dollars a barrel, supported by severe weather in the North Sea, which has shut down several
The weak US dollar, which fell to a new low against the euro on Tuesday, is also lifting
futures offer a hedge against a weak dollar, and
futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the greenback is falling.
Crude prices are now within the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in early 1980. While adjustment calculations vary, 38 US dollars a barrel then would now be worth between 96 to 103 US dollars or more today.
At the start of the year petrol was 88.32p a litre on average, with diesel at 93.68p a litre. This means that UK drivers are now spending an extra £8.08 million a day on petrol compared with the beginning of 2007.
The contrast with February this year - when the lowest average petrol price of 85.99p a litre was recorded - is even greater. Also, this time last year petrol cost 86.11p a litre. This means UK drivers are now spending nearly £9.61 million extra a day compared with the same time last year.
Individually, for a motorist with a typical 50-litre fuel tank, a petrol refill is costing £6.99 more than this time last year.