Fuel prices increased dramatically in October, with diesel rising by more than 10p per litre, as the UK continues to grapple with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
According to new figures released by the RAC, diesel prices increased from an average of 180.37p to 190.51p per litre, which is the equivalent of costing more than £5 per tank.
The price rise is the third largest on record, behind only March and June this year, when prices of diesel rose 22p and 16p respectively.
October also represented the largest ever price disparity between unleaded and diesel, with the gap reaching 24p per litre.
The RAC says the price rises started at the beginning of the month when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut oil production by two million barrels a day – equal to 2% of the world’s supply.
Barrel prices increased 7% from $88.86 to $94.83, reaching a high of $97 on 27 October, which, when taking the weak performance of the pound into account, ramped up prices.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “After three months of falling pump prices, October was a severe shock to the system for drivers with the unwelcome return of some scary numbers on forecourt totems.
“The fear now, particularly for diesel drivers, is whether the average price of a litre is heading back to that record of 199.09p, which made a full tank cost more than £109.
“Looking at the wholesale market, we strongly hope the price should stabilise. And those with petrol cars should actually see forecourt prices start to go slightly the other way as the wholesale cost of unleaded appears to have peaked – at least for the time being – in mid-October.”
Supermarket forecourts did not avoid the price rises. Prices of unleaded increased by 4p at one ‘big four‘ supermarket, and diesel by 9p.
Even more aggressive price rises were evident on motorway forecourts, with petrol jumping by almost 8p from 182.83p to 190.48p, and diesel by 12p, from 192.74p to 204.24p.
Costco, meanwhile, had the cheapest average fuel prices, with petrol at 154p per litre and diesel at 176p per litre.
The price rises follow the record profit announcements from the world’s biggest energy and oil providers.
BP posted profits of £7.1 billion between July and September, which was over double its earnings from the same period last year. Likewise, Shell posted profits of £8.1bn for the third quarter of the year.
Williams said: “We strongly urge drivers to make sure they always know where they can buy fuel at the lowest prices.