Over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend “nearly half of drivers stayed at home” as petrol prices soared by almost 6p per litre.
The average cost of fuel hit a record 177.9p on Sunday which is up from 172.1p on 27 May, and a typical 55-litre family petrol car will now cost motorists around £3 more.
AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said, “Shock and awe is the only way to describe what has been happening at the pump during the half-term break.
“Little wonder that nearly half of drivers stayed at home for the Jubilee extended bank holiday.
“The forces behind the surge have been oil jumping back above $120 a barrel for the first time since late March, combined with petrol commodity prices being boosted by summer motoring demand.”
The AA said that over the same period diesel prices were up from 182.7p per litre to more than 185.0p per litre.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the record fuel prices are “frightening” and warned drivers “won’t be able to cope unless something is done to help.”
Williams added, “With oil now above 120 US dollars a barrel and sterling still at 1.2 US dollars, worse is still to come.
“Sadly, we expect to see the average price of petrol break through the 180p mark this week, with diesel moving further towards 190p.
“More radical government intervention is urgently needed, whether that’s in the form of a further reduction in fuel duty or a VAT cut.
“As it is, drivers surely won’t be able to cope unless something is done to help.
“This is fast becoming a national crisis for the country’s 32m car drivers as well as countless businesses.”