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Petrol Prices Near All Time HighsBack

The average price of petrol paid by hard-pressed consumers on UK forecourts has bounced back in recent weeks to nearly 140p per litre. The all time record average price was set in April 2012, when it briefly hit 142.8p

The news comes as petrol retailers come under scrutiny for profiteering. In July, the MP for Harlow, Robert Harlow, called for an enquiry into what he described as ‘manipulation’:

“We need to know whether the oil price has been manipulated in a similar way to LIBOR. This impacts on millions of people all round the country concerned about the price of petrol at the pumps.””

The industry responded fiercely to such criticism – pointing that unlike LIBOR, petrol prices are governed by supply and demand, as well as carrying a heavy taxation element in their cost.

Nonetheless, since 1 July, a litre of petrol has risen in cost by 7%, while diesel too has shot up by 5.5%. Against this background, it’s no wonder that sales of hybrid cars continue to be robust, with new models coming online all the time. While often more expensive to buy in the first place, these cars can offer great savings over their lifetime with the current high fuel prices.

As well as that, most manufacturers now offer more efficient engines and lighter bodies – such as Ford’s ‘econetic‘ range or the VW Polo Bluemotion.

While petrol prices are at near-record levels right now, they’ve been sufficiently high for good second hand efficient cars to find their way onto the market.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 14/09/2012