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£90 to fill up your tank

By: Elizabeth Smythe
03 February 2011

Those with driving jobs won't be happy about the latest news that the average motorist now faces a £90 bill for filling their car with petrol, after the latest rounds of price hikes.

As some petrol companies saw sky rocketing profits, The Daily Mail today predicts that it will soon cost almost £100 to fill up the average seventy-litre family car. Petrol currently costs, on average, 128.62 pence per litre with diesel around 130 pence. 

Today Reuters reported that Shell announced a "fivefold increase on fourth quarter net profit" of $5.7 billion. This, combined with news that the price of wholesale petrol actually dropped from 41 pence to 39 pence, has prompted the view that oil companies and retailers are "profiteering". To aggravate UK motorists further, petrol prices in most other European countries are said to have dropped. 

A spokesman from the AA, quoted in The Daily Mail, said: "The fact that European retailers passed on the fall in fuel prices leads you only to one conclusion; that our retailers are keeping their prices high and enjoying the profits."

However, the paper quotes an industry insider who disagrees. They said: "Attempts to deflect the impact of relentless government tax hikes by suggesting that retailers are "profiteering" are ludicrous and unhelpful to an industry sector struggling to preserve jobs, especially in the challenged rural communities."

Possibly there is worse to come, as events in Egypt and rising crude oil prices may result in more increases, putting further pressure on the government to find ways to stabilise fuel prices.

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