The average price of petrol in the United Kingdom rose by 5.44 pence per litre in April, the second largest monthly increase since 2000. RAC data revealed a litre of lead-free shots from 122.62p to 128.06p on average, with the increase in retailers driven by a 5% increase in the cost of a barrel of oil.

Diesel increased by 3 p per liter at pumps, to 133.7 p, although the RAC points out that the difference between fuels in the wholesale price paid by retailers was only one cent. The four British supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda – also increased their gasoline prices above the British average.

The price rise was most evident in Wales, where the cost of unleaded petrol rose from 121.37p to 127.47p per litre over the month, while London ended April with the most expensive petrol at just over 129p per litre.

The RAC cites the example of filling the 55-litre tank of an average family car with petrol, which rose by £3 to £70.43 across the UK in April.

Simon Williams, spokesman for RAC fuels, says that “it is very clear from our monitoring of petrol station prices and wholesale prices that retailers have been using the cheapest wholesale cost of diesel to subsidise petrol pump prices and that, if this had not been the case, a new monthly record of price increases would have been set”.

“To put this price discrepancy into perspective, last year the amount of diesel sold was almost double that of gasoline.”

The news comes when the Climate Change Commission calls on the UK government to postpone the ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, rekindling the debate over preparing the UKs road infrastructure for mass electrification.

A detailed breakdown of changes in fuel prices in the UK since the beginning of 2015 can be found on the RACs Fuel Watch website.

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