Misery at the pumps as fuel prices nudge £2 a litre

Diesel for sale at 199p p/l in Long Stratton

Diesel for sale at 199.9p p/l in Long Stratton - Credit: Archant

Diesel is nudging £2 a litre at one Norfolk garage as forecourt prices rise to unprecedented levels.

Drivers were paying 199.9p p/l at Stratton Motor Company, in Long Stratton, while petrol was 178p p/l from its pumps, as the war in Ukraine sent prices surging.

The firm said it was forced to put up its prices after taking a new delivery of diesel which cost it 30p p/l more than a week ago.

There are now fears that other garages will have to follow suit as they stock up and that the prices could rise still higher.


Drivers face further price rises as the ban on Russian oil imports drives up crude prices - Credit: Denise Bradley

The soaring costs have prompted calls for the government to take action to ease the pressure on motorists, by cutting VAT on fuel.

Prices for petrol and diesel have surged since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month. 

Russia is one of the largest oil exporters globally but the UK and other western nations have imposed swingeing economic and trading sanctions on the country, forcing the wholesale price for crude oil used in manufacturing petrol and diesel to soar.

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Roger Bennington, managing director at Stratton Motor Company, said: "Obviously the situation in Ukraine is pushing a lot of prices up, including fuel.  

"We had a delivery at 7am this morning and we have paid over 30p per litre more for diesel this week than we paid for it last week, and we have no option other than to pass some of this increase on to the consumer.

"Realistically, to maintain our margins we should have put it up to over £2 per litre but have chosen to absorb some of the increase for now.

"We are also seeing substantial increases in the cost of the grocery items purchased for the forecourt shop through our wholesalers who presumably are having to pass on the increased cost of transportation. 

"I don’t think anyone should be surprised to see the cost of supermarket shopping increase significantly over the coming weeks. It is bound to get worse before it gets better."

Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average cost of a litre of diesel on UK forecourts reached 165.2p on Tuesday, up nearly 3p on Monday's 162.3p.

fiuel prices

Prices at the Jet in Rose Lane, Norwich - Credit: Ian Clarke

The RAC said the jump was the largest on records dating back to the year 2000.

Petrol prices also soared, with the price of a litre increasing from 156.4p on Monday to 158.2p on Tuesday.

On forecourts we visited across Norfolk and Waveney,  prices ranged from 151.9 to 169.9p p/l for petrol and 156.9 to 199.9p p/l for diesel.

Further rises are in the pipeline, as Britain joins the ban on Russian oil imports in protest over the war in Ukraine.

fuel prices

Prices on display at a Tesco in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Danielle Booden

The price per barrel of Brent crude - the most commonly used way of measuring the UK's oil price - reached 139 US dollars on Monday, which was its highest level in 14 years.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "The cost of a filling a 55-litre family car with petrol is now £87 - £7 more than it was at the start of the year.

"Diesel drivers are even worse off, with a tank now costing more than £90 for the first time ever - £8 more than in early January.

"Wholesale fuel prices have already risen dramatically this week, so more pump price increases in the coming days are inevitable."

The RAC is calling on chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut the VAT on fuel to soften the blow for hard-pressed consumers.

"As it stands, 26p a litre of what drivers are paying on the forecourt is attributable to VAT and that comes on top of 58p a litre in fuel duty," said Mr Williams.

fuel prices

Sainsbury's at Queen's Road in Norwich had some of the lowest prices in Norfolk and Waveney on Wednesday - Credit: Ian Clarke

"This tax on a tax is causing unbelievable financial pain to drivers which is why we believe Mr Sunak holds the key to easing the burden."

Mr Sunak has so far not responded. But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he believed Britons would think the increase a price worth paying to hit back at Russia.

'We need to stem the flow of Putin's gas and oil blood money from funding his war machine so I think it's right to cut off their oil," he said.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps. - Credit: PA

Prices around the region as of lunchtime on Wednesday

Stratton Motor Co, Long Stratton - petrol 178p p/l, diesel 199.9p p/l

Shell, St Nicholas Road, Great Yarmouth - petrol 169.9p p/l, diesel 179.9p p/l

Shell, Fakenham - petrol165.9p p/l, diesel 172.9p p/l

BP, South Quay, Great Yarmouth - petrol 160.9p op/l, diesel 173.9p p/l

Esso, Oulton Broad, petrol1 60.9p p/l, diesel 172.9p p/l 

Jet, Lynn Road, Gaywood, King's Lynn - petrol 159p p/l, diesel 163p p/l

Jet, Rose Lane, Norwich - petrol 153.9p p/l, diesel157.9p p/l

Morrisons, Beccles - petrol 153.9p p/l, diesel 157.9p p/l

Asda, Great Yarmouth - petrol 152.7p p/l, diesel 159.7p p/l

Sainsbury's, Queen's Road, Norwich - petrol 151.9p p/l, diesel 156.9p p/l