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Fuel prices start to rise ahead of Budget

Tesco was the first supermarket to increase its prices, pushing the price of petrol to over a litre following a rise in wholesale prices, and the RAC has reported that Morrisons has also increased its prices.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams added: “We may well see others follow suit this week unless they’re prepared to absorb increased wholesale costs for the benefit of their customers. As a result we’re seeing average prices rise slightly, with a litre of unleaded petrol now being sold for a little under 103p and diesel for just over that price.

“Fortunately, while the crude oil price has risen it causing wholesale fuel prices to go up, it is still relatively low – currently hovering around the $40 a barrel mark. So while the magic sight of fuel being sold for under £1 a litre might be starting to disappear, we don’t think motorists need to be concerned that prices are going to suddenly shoot up, unless of course the Chancellor decides to increase fuel duty in tomorrow’s Budget.

“The slight increase in wholesale fuel prices should not be an excuse for more expensive retailers, including motorway service stations, to hike the cost of fuel and unfairly hit the motorist.”

Meanwhile Dawsonrental | vans has added to calls for the Chancellor at least freeze duty.

Managing director Gareth Jones said: ”UK motorists already foot an extortionate bill for fuel, and pay more fuel duty than any other country in the EU. While current fuel retail prices are low, they won’t remain so indefinitely. Combined with rising insurance costs, the reported 1.16p per litre increase will hit businesses hard – particularly SMEs, who in many cases are still only experiencing tentative growth. 

“The majority of British businesses rely on transport in one way or another so the impact of an increase will be significant and far-reaching. The Government should continue to postpone an increase until they can be certain that British business can withstand the impact.”  

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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