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Can you cope with record petrol prices?

10:17 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The price of petrol could hit a record high of £1.20 a litre in the next few weeks, according to the AA. Are fuel prices too high?

The AA says a rise in the wholesale price of petrol is to blame for the rise in forecourt prices. The motoring organisation is urging the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to postpone the introduction of a planned 3p rise in petrol duty, due to come in on 1 April.

The AA says families now spend £52 a month more on petrol than a year ago, with the current average petrol price being just over £1.15 a litre.

What is your reaction to the record petrol price? Can you afford it? Is the cost of fuel affecting your driving habits? Should the petrol price rise be postponed? How much is petrol in your area?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Remember, around 50% of the pre-tax price of petrol is generated by speculators for the benefit of a handful of investors, to the detriment of everybody else.

    In this case its not only the government that has us over an oil barrell.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have a 4 * 4 the size of a small tank. This petrol I may have to start thinking of others and the planet.How unfair.

  • Comment number 3.

    Petrol prices are not too high if they encourage people to get out of their cars and walk, cycle, or use public transport wherever possible. This country needs a sustainable transport future. Blindly following the American way with 30+ million drivers simultaneously exercising their "right" to use their cars on this small island for every little trip will lead to spiralling congestion, pollution, and numbers of road accidents, not to mention fuelling the obesity problem.

  • Comment number 4.

    just got back from austria, a land locked country with no oil fields, diesel 0.99 cents a litre , petrol 1.01 euros a litre, and its not the oil companys making the difference its the penal taxation leveled on it in this country by government to help cover its waste

  • Comment number 5.

    They've been too high for years. People will put up with them and if they need to cut any spending it'll be elsewhere. Normally I would complain about the tax before the price (if something is too expensive then my complaint is to who is responsible for the largest proportion of the price - that's still tax, no matter what). However, the country is in such a mess that it needs every penny of tax it can get, so for once I'm not going to complain too much about the rise. Unfortunately it's too much to hope that it'll be spent responsibly.

  • Comment number 6.

    Given that most of the tax is a percentage of the pump price Darling can well afford to suspend the extra 3p rise in tax on petrol, although I can see how the extra income will help him with out deficit.

    As a relatively low mileage driver I'd rather pay the tax on petrol and have less road tax. It at least gives drivers who drive well, maintain their cars, keep their tyres at the right pressure and drive efficient cars some reward. My road tax is enormous simply because my car is old. The fact thats its in great condition and has done half the mileage of most cars its age is ignored by the taxman.

    I can also accept that as oil is priced in dollars and the pound has (very recently) dropped against the dollar oil is costing us Brits relatively more. What I don't understand (Although I can damn well guess why.... ) is why in 2008 when it was $2.02 to the £1 petrol was costing the same as today. Could it be (sracastic cough...) that the oil companies don't pass on savings to us but do pass on extra costs?

  • Comment number 7.

    Luckily I bought a car which does 50mpg,if I hadn't it would be a struggle. No more drives for the sake of it though! From listening to the news it's only going to get worse, I think the dats of 15-20mpg cars are over.

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes I can cope with record petrol prices; I'd rather not.

    What I'd really like to know is when I can have a reliable form of personal transport (other than a cycle or my legs) that doesn't require giving all my money to large petrochemical cartels and/or Middle-East states with appalling human rights records the better.

  • Comment number 9.

    With the Govt raking in 51% Duty & 17.5% VAT on every litre, it's easy to see why fuel is so expensive and who is taking the money.
    Is there not some way to strip down the Government, i.e. to reduce the cost of it, do we really need so many expensive politicians, civil servants, etc.? Is the country really any better off for having them? Do local boroughs really cut the mustard, are they not almost all simply a set of expensive loafers & hangers on.
    Since the rise in fuel cost will affect the price of everything else, including MPs' first class rail fares & second home mortgages, isn't it just another argument for the reform of politics & the civil service in general, especially Customs & Revenue?

  • Comment number 10.

    LAst year the oil futures market drove the price of a barrel of oil to $170, which drove forecourt prices up to £1.20+ a litre. The speculators seem to be at it again.
    What can government do, holding off tax rises or cutting tax on petrol has no effect on the markets.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes I'm paying over £50 /month more than last year. In fact a year ago I bought a replacement (not new) car to gain better economy now I'm back to square one.
    There's a way to go before I'm better off not working but why oh why do they think that penalising the people still in work is a good idea.
    It's easy to justify higher prices when you're on an idealogical trip and being paid hansomely from the public purse.
    This is going to get worse as more people end up on a treadmill just to pay the bills.
    I'm tempted to try the benefits route but don't hold out any hopes as I have been contributing all my life so won't be at the front of the queue for handouts.

  • Comment number 12.

    About time the government stopped taking the mickey with petrol prices isn't it? They are doing very well out of it, but are in danger of killing the golden goose. I think we've all seen through the pretence of 'protecting the environment' now, haven't we?

  • Comment number 13.

    Despite what the Daily Mail might say, all the evidence still leads to the conclusion that man made carbon dioxide emissions are leading to dangerous climate change. Motor vehicles, especially gas guzzlers, put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere so anything that discourages their use has to be a good thing. I live in a rural area so a car is important but I haven't owned a car since 1983 that didn't do at least 55 mpg so it doesn't hurt that much and when petrol prices are high you soon realise that many journeys aren't strictly necessary with a little forethought and planning. I suspect though that the response of most people to increasing petrol prices will be to jump up and down like spoilt children and scweam and scweam and scweam about the injustice of it all. Nothing to do with them of course, nobody told them when they bought their gas guzzler that oil is running out and the only way for prices is up or that oil companies are greedy beyond avarice. It must be all that Gordon Brown's fault, he seems to take the can for everything else.

  • Comment number 14.

    This Government is mugging us at the pumps, how the hell is the average person on a low wage going to get to work if its not in the same area as he/she lives and so needs a car to get there?

    Alistair Darling, take note, election coming up soon. If you want us to vote for you then do NOT put any more VAT on the fuel.

  • Comment number 15.

    The main problem with fuel prices is overtaxation. Not only does the tax run as a percentage of the cost of the fuel rather than a flat amount, then they charge VAT on the taxed amount - when did paying tax on tax become reasonable?

    While petrol prices tend to lag behind the global price when it falls, oddly it does not when it rises, which leads one to speculate about less-than-honest pricing on the part of the petrol companies.

    However the major issue is excessive taxation and this must come down, not increase. It is time that a concerted campaign to highlight the extortion was mounted: I call on all petrol station owners to post the cost of petrol and the taxation separately as well as showing the total to be paid. We all know it is excessive, but seeing it that clearly will remind us.

    My driving habits do not change with price, they are based on transport needs rather than frivolity. I demand fair taxation rather than excessive taxation based on fraudulent social engineering!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Try living on a State Pension before you ask such a question. With a local rates bill in excess of £1,500 and fuel and water bills totally well over £1,700 per annum life is already very difficult.
    The cost of fuel just adds another layer of stress at a time in your life when you could do without it. I rely on our small vehicle as I am disabled but already find the cost of keeping it on the road prohibitively expensive.
    Maybe the Government could ease the situation a little by reducing the tax levied on petrol - 50% is simply obscene.

  • Comment number 18.

    Fuel prices are not high. Try going by train, and then you'll find out what high transport prices are really like.

  • Comment number 19.

    It is too high and we are forced to use more than necessary. In the interests of recycling the council limits collectable rubbish, so each week I join the queue of dozens of motorists waiting at the local dump. No public transport, so the children have to be driven to school. Spies watching you exercise your dogs so I drive 20 miles each day to take my dogs to a private field. Bicycle? Why not commit suicide which is the same result.
    We need cheaper fuel. What is the point of having so many wars in the middle east if we can't have their oil?

  • Comment number 20.

    Rather a silly question. Who's seriously going to answer - "No, this is right. Petrol should cost a fortune"?

  • Comment number 21.

    It's called Peak Oil and we had all better get used to it very quickly. The long-term trend is for oil prices to keep on rising as demand outstrips supply. Within a few decades oil will turn from being a cheap necessity into an expensive luxury.

    People should start thinking about how they are going to live their lives in the future. If oil-based energy becomes more expensive then just about everything else will be more expensive at the same time. No more cheap food, cheap clothes, cheap travel etc.

  • Comment number 22.

    Well I'm simply not driving anywhere anymore unless it is for things like bulk shopping. It's as simple as that. We're blatantly ripped off in this country by these companys,and our Government like to wail that it's nothing to do with them when the cost of it has everything to do with them and their extortionate cut. All of this is an eco warrior's dream of course,to have all of us static in our town and unmoving with our cars gathering cobwebs.Hey,the Government may even reach their "carbon emmisions targets" this way,yes? (knowing wink). We're regressing. It will soon be like the 1920s where only the rich elite could drive as a luxury. The rest of us? Well, who knows?

    Public transport can often work out more expensive in the long term than car ownership,so it's not like we can all rush to the buses as a way around this one. If somebody wanted us out of cars,they'll get what they want, because I'm not going to be a mug for these criminals for much longer. I simply won't pay £1.20 per Litre while the U.S pays about half that. But our economy will suffer once we're off the road.

    Kiss goodbye to domestic tourism,for example. Attractions away from people's immediate town will see a massive drop in visitors. B&Bs will shut shop,and the rest. Whoever thought it was a good idea to cheat us with tales of woe while raking in the profits,will soon see the effect of it on this country in more ways than our frustration at not being able to get into our car and go for an enjoyable pleasure drive somewhere.

    Myself? As a single guy I'll probably be moving towards getting a motorbike now. Car ownership is an utter rip off here,with VED,MOT,Insurance and Fuel costs. I'm sick of being a mug and actually 'being' the fool they take us for as we whinge at rising prices but still pay up at every new demand. We often say "They take us for idiots". Well, we ARE because we don't have the courage to stand up for ourselves. If we want it to be any different we're going to have to boycott the pumps until they take some notice.

  • Comment number 23.

    High petrol/diesel taxes are the only fair way of taxing road use. They discourage unnecessary journeys, and encourage the availablilty of locally produced food. Only 'petrol heads' have a problem with this.

  • Comment number 24.

    It may make some people walk. I walk past my local infant school to work and at 09.00 you can't move for cars dropping off children two women who live across the road from me use their cars to take childrin to school when its a five minute walk.

  • Comment number 25.

    Of course prices are too high, but this is only because the pound is so weak and the government taxes petrol so highly. If you do the maths, the margins are no higher than they were when oil hit its peak.

    I've summed it all up here.

    Remember @ £1.20/litre the gov takes 70p/litre!
    @ 80p / litre the gov was taking 61p/litre a taxation rate of 342%!

  • Comment number 26.

    "The price of fuel will affect every one not just car owners' the cost of all goods will go up again? What will this government Nu-Labour do about this nothing,it is market forces at work ? just wait for the record profits of the oil companys to prove this fact again and the extra tax they pay to the government ? we are beening scamed by them, we are all mugs.

  • Comment number 27.

    Petrol prices are never, ever going to come down.

    The world's crude oil reserves are being used up at a faster rate than they have ever been, and there is already precious little left.

  • Comment number 28.

    you (britain) have to pay more pounds for a barrel of oil due to the devaluation of sterling. This is the first sign of what the affect is of a devaluation of a currency.

  • Comment number 29.

    I WILL VOTE to a party who promises to reduce the fuel duty in the next 1 or 2 years. Is any party in the UK have it in their manifesto to reduce taxes? Can they dare to declare? Is any one willing to follow me on this?

  • Comment number 30.

    Let's stop moaning and do something. Most of us shop around which is fine in built up areas but in rural parts of the country this is harder. But if we cut down on our travel the oil companies would soon do more to keep the price down.
    As always the Govt are blamed but the profits of these companies have increased at a time when oil prices have decreased.
    There are millions of car owners in this country and if we all cut down it would have a huge impact, we have power but unfortunately think we can make no difference. Consumer power is great it just needs a united effort

  • Comment number 31.

    We pay a frightening amount of tax for our fuel, approximately 60% of the £1.16/l you pay at the pump goes on fuel duty and VAT!
    Daylight robbery!
    I am a well travelled man and I haven't been any country where the pump prices are as high as they are here!

    I car share to get to work these days, I don't mind it, and I'd encourage those who can, to do the same! The less money I give to Gordon Brown, the better. And I guess car sharing keeps the air a bit cleaner too.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with ForceCrag #5; I'm not too bothered about the tax rise but I have to question why pre-tax petrol prices are so high compared to crude? Somebody is laughing all the way to the bank at our expense and it's not just the treasury - I'd prefer if it were.

  • Comment number 33.

    When VAT was lowered to 15%, Fuel duty went up by 2p to compensate. VAT went back up to 17.5% and we still have this fuel duty..

    (I'm not saying it's the main reason for the increase, but it doesn't help having stealth taxes)

  • Comment number 34.

    I drive a small, 2 seater sports car of which I couldn't care less how much the price of petrol is... At best I get 32mpg, at worst I get 24mpg. My car still puts a smile on my face even after 3 years ownership and as a direct result of this governments attitude towards CO2 emissions I for one couldn't care less about the environment. You tax us to death and blame CO2 of which you penalise us by paying more? How does that change our behaviour? If anything all this government has achieved with me is to rebel as I know I'll have to pay through the nose disregard of me being green or not. On the plus side, I'll be able to drive my car even quicker once the roads become more empty! /jk

  • Comment number 35.

    Didn't get a pay rise last year due to 'financial climate' but petrol costs have gone up & up & up, vat has gone up, water rates have gone up, council tax has gone up....

    I don't need to worry about dieting, I can't afford to eat!!!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Interesting isn't it. Despite the huge increase in fuel taxes this miserable Govt invests not just a little less but a considerable amount less in energy R&D than any of our main competitors.

    At some point it must be hoped that the general public will finally realise that we're being ripped off by our own Govt and that none of the taxes we've paid have or indeed ever will have any major impact on climate change and that investment in new technologies remains well below the level it needs to be.

  • Comment number 37.

    A price increase will affect everything. Deliveries, heating cost (oil fueled) running machinery, etc. Why is it that when it was under £1 per litre everyone complained, yet now it is this price people are prepared to pay the price. Some comments suggest walking, cycling, using public transport (bound to put public transport up) as alternatives, but have they tried that in rural areas, when you have to travel 2 miles to the main road and then lucky if you see a bus a day???!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Where is all the duty and tax going? Into the pockets of the MPs I suspect.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think what the anti-car and green brigade (and I really mean no offence by that as I empathise with your cause) need to realise before they voice approval, is that these increases in taxes aren't imposed with the intention of getting everyone to use their cars less. The ideal situation for the government is if motorists continue to consume exactly the same or more fuel than before, thus increasing revenue.

    If we really want to persuade motorists to use their cars less, we need to recognise that it is reasonable for people to want to own a car, and not vilify them for this. Instead, we need to concentrate on persuading people that there are instances where public transport offers a viable alternative to using their car. This will be achieved through making public transport more convenient, and cheaper (especially for motorists). Making petrol more expensive only serves to ensure that people have less money to spend on alternatives. As it is, I pay out approximately £250 a month to run my car, so even though I could get a tram to work, I can't afford a £50 a month pass, so I have no choice but to drive. Subsidised or even free public transport for vehicle tax payers would get a lot of people off the roads.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm laughing because I bought a second hand fuel efficient car two years ago. The price has to nearly double before I'm paying what I used to pay. It was obvious that either taxation or geopolitical tensions were going to put the price up - just like house prices always used to go up every year, now its the turn of petrol. For anyone who has bought a gas guzzler recently it serves you right for being terminally stupid.

  • Comment number 41.

    The wholesale oil price is extremely volatile, and we know that Duty and VAT is the majority of the cost. However, this does not explain the fact that Brent Oil price today at 10am is exactly the same as it was on 18 February, the taxes and duties haven't changed, but we appear to be paying 3-4p a litre more. Guess who's raking it in!
    As for a duty rise, this is just another stealth tax to lower the standards of living of Mr Ordinary Man. Since VAT rises automatically when the wholesale and retail prices rise, there is no need or justification for any increase in duty, regardless of so-called environmental concerns.

  • Comment number 42.

    What ever happened to the fuel protests? Oh I forgot, the government basically outlawed the blockade of storage depots and threatened to remove the lincenses of transport hauliers.

    It's about time we in this country behaved like the French and brought the roads to a complete standstill in protest at the price of fuel.

  • Comment number 43.

    Oh good grief! Here are the "greens" out in force again, totally failing to understand that for the country to run, some of us NEED to travel. Petrol prices are far too high, and I don't blame the oil companies - petrol isn't so high anywhere else in the EU, or even the rest of the world. the blame lies fairly and squarely at the door of No 10 Downing street. I am just utterly fed up with 13 years of lies and blundering incompetence. We, the taxpaying, hard working public have to pay tax for almost anything we do, motoring in particular. The foolish, misguided "greens" actually think this is a good thing. Its reverse technology, the more we are taxed, the more this hopeless government waste, Time and time again the answer is correctly published, you CANNOT force people out of their cars. what has to happen is alternative public transport has to be in place first. It is in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France etc. It isn't here, ther is NO viable public transport system, its been destroyed by this government. Higher petrol prices are NEVER a good thing, and any one who thinks they are has a really warped view of society.

  • Comment number 44.

    "LeftieAgitator wrote: Last year the oil futures market drove the price of a barrel of oil to $170, which drove forecourt prices up to £1.20+ a litre. The speculators seem to be at it again. What can government do, holding off tax rises or cutting tax on petrol has no effect on the markets."
    If that's true it's a factor I overlooked...perhaps then we should get rid of Government, the Civil Service, ask Her Majesty to pay her own expenses and shut down the Financial Futures Exchange, dumping all those coke-heads in one fell swoop.
    I certainly don't agree with my friend above, defending the government, that IS a brainwashed statement, sorry Mr Leftie Agitator, I hope you have a nice day, if you can afford it.

  • Comment number 45.

    "20. At 11:44am on 16 Mar 2010, DuellistOrigins wrote:
    Rather a silly question. Who's seriously going to answer - "No, this is right. Petrol should cost a fortune"?"

    People who live in areas with round the clock public transport who are lucky enough not to have to commute 50 miles a day to work...!

  • Comment number 46.

    Force the government to cut fuel duty, not increase. National strike if they refuse!

  • Comment number 47.

    Aren't most of you forgetting one thing? If petrol prices go up considerably, which it looks like they are going to do, then it would create a situation whereby all the goods we buy, will cost more, including food. Inflation would rise, then would come the crunch of higher interest rates. Will you still be able to cope then?
    It amazes me just how much money we actually give away in aid money, the payments to the EU etc. etc. How can a government be giving millions of pounds in aid money, when they cannot even look after their own citizens.
    There's no denying that we are a giving society, but when we need help ourselves, we are ignored. Somethings clearly wrong with this.

  • Comment number 48.

    Petrol is going up because it's priced in $ and the £ is falling against the $. The reson is that the markets are concerned at the possibility of a hung parliament which will not then be able to agree on how to get us out of this mess. Therefore, when voting we must make sure not to have a hung parliament and we all know which party is third.

  • Comment number 49.

    People forget that we're not just paying for this rise through fuel taxation but the cost of the haulage of goods also increases. We pay for it at the pump, the supermarket, the electrical goods retailer, everywhere that requires goods to be delivered by road.

    Also, the additional 3p a litre will be frittered away on pointless 'initiatives', projects and qangos with little benefit to the majority of the population.

    Why work? is the question I continually ask myself - what's the point when at the end of it you have to sell everything you've worked for just to get nursing care while those that have done nothing and contributed little will end up with free care and lose nothing.

  • Comment number 50.

    Small privately owned petrol stations where fuel prices are a few pence higher will be at risk of closing down due to people turning to cheaper unmanned supermarket pumps to save a few pence. Hence more people on the dole.

  • Comment number 51.

    Why are petrol prices going up?

    In part because the pound has fallen.

    And why is that?

    Because of Government borrowing and expenditure commitments have continued to increase out of control.

  • Comment number 52.

    Could someone please explain how the last time fuel was this expensive, the price of a barrel of crude was near to 140 dollars as opposed to the 80 dollars it is now?
    The excuse of currency fluctuations doesn't really effect that much the difference of 60 dollars and how many people know that a small percentage of a " barrel of oil " is refined as petrol/ diesel. Many other "olefin" products are refined from oil but they dont see increases like fuel does. Some years ago it was well known that ICI sold cheap petrol because the petrol was a by-product of the refining process!
    Fuel, like speed cameras are just a "cash cow" for the government.

  • Comment number 53.

    I've always thought Petrol and similar non-essential items should be used to raise the majority of tax revenue, rather than income tax.

    Tax based on people's expense to society and the country (oil is by far the country's biggest single national expense) rather than taxing the basic earning of money, seems far fairer to me.

    Also, by raising the necessary tax revenue via petrol tax (rather than income tax) people are able to reduce their tax bill if desired by not driving. By taxing incomes noone can reduce their tax bill unless they sacrifice income.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm not a driver (I live in a city, the public transport system is ok, if not brilliant, and I'm 30 minutes walk away from my office), but I think this is a very poor way of addressing the road use issues.

    There is a group of road users who, right now, deserve to pay more in tax because they have no need to drive, at all. Every day, on my walk to work, I get passed by my neighbours in their car. They're dropping their child off at school, which is about a third of the way along my route. I'm sorry, but getting in the car because you can't be bothered to do a 10 minute walk - you deserve to pay for that priviledge.

    On the other hand, I have colleagues who commute 1hr+ to work by car every day; inter-city public transport in this country is trash, particularly in the FGW train franchise area. At least one of these people has had to quit because of the Government's exorbitant petrol taxation.

  • Comment number 55.

    We have choices, as a nation we could have zero fuel tax, but if you want the hospitals and schools then the money has to come from somewhere. High fuel cost is relative to the fuel consumption of your vehicle and the mileage you drive. Cheap fuel equals big inefficient motor vehicles and a lack of investment in improved efficiency or alternative options for transport or the way we design our towns and cities. The USA is a good example, large every expanding cities, an inefficient motor industry and a population with an ever expanding girth, the UK is not that different. Just perhaps the cost of fuel could help us to change this country from a USA satellite state to a small island off the cost of mainland Europe and start living a life that befits our geography and our history.

  • Comment number 56.

    Petrol prices are far too high and should be reduced. There have been a number of times where it has been reported that the price of oil has reduced per barrel and yet we have not seen this reflected in the prices at the pumps. A forecourt near me raised it's prices twice in a day!

    People turning around and saying people should get out of their cars are talking nonsense. Public transport is a disgrace in the UK for starters while other people's commutes are not plausible by public transport and it would take them double to journey time due to having to change trains - as an example my route if I wanted to take the train I would have to commute into London first to get on another line to come back out to more or less where I started from. It would take me 2-2.5 hours each way. I have a small car, it's not a gas guzzler - I used to be able to fill the tank on £25 now it's nearer £50.

    The government needs to do something about the price of petrol, most of it is taxes and they want to add on more.

  • Comment number 57.

    "23. At 11:49am on 16 Mar 2010, typicallistener wrote:
    High petrol/diesel taxes are the only fair way of taxing road use. They discourage unnecessary journeys, and encourage the availablilty of locally produced food. Only 'petrol heads' have a problem with this."

    I'm certainly no 'petrol head'! I drive a fairly fuel-efficient car (would love to get a *very* fuel-efficient car but can't afford one), and I'm a divorced parent who has a 50-mile a day commute to work. I am trying to get a job closer to home, but there's currently nothing available. Of course, I could simply pack my job in and become one of those layabouts on benefits...

  • Comment number 58.

    Am I alone in noticing that oil prices rise and the petrol stations go up almost immediately. Oil prices fall and they carry on selling at the higher price until the higher-priced stock has been sold. Cynical? Naaah!

    I wouldn't say so much if the taxation raised this way actually went to maintaining the roads. It obviously doesn't judging by the state of them.

  • Comment number 59.

    1. At 11:15am on 16 Mar 2010, Pea Eye wrote:
    "Remember, around 50% of the pre-tax price of petrol is generated by speculators for the benefit of a handful of investors, to the detriment of everybody else."

    Excellent point. But remember, oil is priced in dollars and last time I looked, around 80% of exchange rate fluctuations are generated by speculators for the benefit of a handful of gamblers (probably the same handful) what we're really paying for is a small elite to get stinking rich while the real economies that us common folk live in all go to rack and ruin.

  • Comment number 60.

    When VAT went down the duty was increased on petrol to compensate. Now that VAT has gone up, that has been applied to the price with the enhanced duty, so you've had double the increase in TAX. And now Nu "we want to help hard working families" Labour are adding a further 3p per litre this April.

    So do you really want this underhand lot to stay in power?

  • Comment number 61.

    "42. At 12:04pm on 16 Mar 2010, Brian wrote:
    What ever happened to the fuel protests? Oh I forgot, the government basically outlawed the blockade of storage depots and threatened to remove the lincenses of transport hauliers.

    It's about time we in this country behaved like the French and brought the roads to a complete standstill in protest at the price of fuel."

    Great idea! That way I can't get to work and my company (which only has 5 employees) and is dependent on daily shipments of fresh clinical material will go bust.... then with no job I won't need the car so the price of fuel will be the least of my worries.

  • Comment number 62.

    Two years ago when diesel was 124 per litre I was a sole protester at my local filling station,the difference between diesel and petrol was 14p per litre, it is now the same price so why was there such a large difference?(answer) because they knew very few people would do anything other than moan. I did manage to get a couple of other people involved inthe protest but the vast majority of motorists showed their support by beeping and driving past.We are a nation of complainers who rely on others to try and do something about what we complain about.
    I blame the consumer for the price of fuel and we deserve to pay whatever the oil companies can get away with.Those offended by these remarks will have been sat at home whilst I and others were out on the streets! China and India were blamed last time because of increased demand. What excuse will they use this time for the escalating prices, Global warming seems to be a good choice dont you think? my local filling station went from being one of the most expensive to the cheapest, what does that tell you?

  • Comment number 63.

    How ironic a Labour MP talking about drivers being legally mugged. Which political party is responsible for three duty increases last year and another one of 3 pence the week after next? Doctor heal thyself or alternatively the people of Britain could just vote to get rid of you on May 6th .......

  • Comment number 64.

    23. At 11:49am on 16 Mar 2010, typicallistener wrote:
    High petrol/diesel taxes are the only fair way of taxing road use. They discourage unnecessary journeys, and encourage the availablilty of locally produced food. Only 'petrol heads' have a problem with this.

    Swing and a miss. I'm not a petrol head - if you ask me what 'that car' was that just went past, I'd say 'It was a blue one'. And yet I have a problem with this! How odd! Why?

    Because I live in a rural area. We don't have the public transport that cities / towns do. We have a bus every few hours, maybe, if you're lucky. More often than not they don't show up, and they're expensive anyway. There isn't a lot of decent work in rural areas either, and besides which I wouldn't want to leave my elderly mum who lives nearby and move to a large town or a City.

    My point being that if you want to price me out of the car market, fine. but what's my alternative? Buy a horse? Walk the twelve miles to work?

    It's all very well pontificating about how this helps a (and lets be quite honest about this, shall we?) MINORITY of local farmers and all that, but your ivory-tower assumption not only plays directly into the hands of the petrochemical industry / treasury, it also disenfranchises the rural community. Please try and have a think about what you say before posting; don't just say the easy, pseudo-morally-and-ecologically sound(bite) thing.

  • Comment number 65.

    No... I can barely afford it now, it costs me over 200 a month just to get to work because I had to travel to get a job in the recession!

    The only reason I can see that prices are still rising is because the big oil companies want to maintain their net profits whilst their costs keep going up!

    Why not actually look into alternatives for drivers in the future? Surely the economy if the people's purses are being squeezed and squeezed!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Re #3 Mark Rowan. This is a typical misguided "Green" response. Don't blame the motorist, thats just too easy and its wrong. The people to blame are those who signally failed to ensure a viable public transport system. Make no mistake, if there was one, I would happily use it. But there isn't one. Its catch 22 for the likes of me, no transport system, got to use the car. Stop blaming the motorist, blame those who had a public duty to provide a viable and attractive alternative, namely the government. You can't "Force" people out of their cars, but the most important point is simply this, you shouldn't have to "Force" people out of their cars - should you?

  • Comment number 67.

    " madbeefsheppo wrote:

    I am a well travelled man and I haven't been any country where the pump prices are as high as they are here! "

    You obviously haven't travelled far then, Scandinavian countries, Ireland and the Netherlands are higher. The main difference is that in many countries diesel is cheaper than unleaded, here it's not so much different, but considering the mileage per litre it works out a better buy here

  • Comment number 68.

    Excessive fuel prices are just another manifestation of the mindless greed that so characterises UK business and government today. Whether it is greedy oil companies, oil speculators or a government bankrupt of just about every facet of fairness and decency, the time has surely come to rid ourselves of these blights on our lives.

  • Comment number 69.

    Fuel prices are this high because crude oil is so cheap.

    The oil companies - which also run our petrol stations - make money by extracting and selling oil. When the oil is cheap, their profit is too low, so they increase the price of fuel at the pumps.

    Which means the big price increase when crude oil was expensive was the actual con. Remember how one particular company had record profits in the same year?

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm going to have my lessons and (hopefully) start driving this year, so I'm beginning to wonder how I'll pay for it, why have the risen so much? At one point it was like 50p per litre.

  • Comment number 71.

    Why doesn't this robbing government put us all on on benefits and just take our salaries...due to the amount of tax the hard working people pay they may as well!!!!!!!
    Stinging the easy option more and more...the workers who prop up the economy of this country
    Why is it that folk always harp on about getting out of your car and walking/take public transport instead etc...not an option when you have to drive to a clients site and then be at another site the next day
    Fine put the prices up so it costs us more for private use but, increase the business rate per mile that we can all claim's a joke that the rate never changes

  • Comment number 72.

    65% of the price is tax and duty. Thanks Gordy.

  • Comment number 73.

    in 2001 where petrol went up to 89.9 per litre and there were fuel strikes and blockades - flash forward to 2010 petrol is £1.13.9 and where are the protests NO WHERE.

    yes i can just about cope but soon i wont be able to get to work because it will be a choice between food and bills and paying for petrol

    the party who at the general election says they will cut taxes on petrol will win a landslide. however the cash cow (us drivers ) are too easy to squeeze money out of.

  • Comment number 74.

    If you have an economical car and drive carefully, then fuel cost is still a small fraction of overall car ownership.

    I have a 1.9 TDi 100 bhp Skoda that achieves almost 60mpg driven at maximum motorway speeds and 53.5mpg average over 74000 miles. I am still averaging less than 9p/mile overall.

    When the fuel costs were very high last year, I altered my driving style slightly and achieved almost 70mpg on long runs without much increase in journey time Everyone can do this! It is good for the driver the car and the environment.

    Fuel costs must be kept high by taxation in order to encourage more economical cars and driving behaviour. BUT ... the revenue MUST be put back into an integrated transport system that gets people onto more efficient and less polluting modes of transport.

  • Comment number 75.

    When you are on MPs salaries, the fuel prices are minimal. These incompetents are so out of touch with the working man. Still they will still claim for the fuel they use so the taxpayer is stumping up yet again. I wonder what this next VAT (supposedly for luxury goods) increase will be wasted on?

  • Comment number 76.

    Don't lose sight of why petrol is so high in price. A combination of high taxes and the Government devaluing the pound over the past year or so. Nothing to do with speculators or the price of crude oil. Come on BBC, stop swallowing Labour's spin.

  • Comment number 77.

    Raising fuel prices again just isn't an answer to anything.

    "Use public transport" - how often do we hear THAT? I drive to work, it's 11 miles each way. It takes me 15 minutes as half of the journey is down a bypass. I could cycle it should I feel brave enough to tackle the bypass, but as there are signs on there that recommend cyclists find an alternative route, that doesn't seem wise to me.

    To get to my place of work (which is in the next nearest town to the one in which I live) would require a 10 minute walk to the nearest bus stop (no problem with that), a 30 minute journey on the "round the Wrekin bus" to cover 4 miles into town, then a change of bus for another 30 minute journey followed by a 20 minute walk. Total time - 1 and a half hours. Car or public transport? Now let me think...

    I own my own business, I employ people. We're struggling enough as it is but very soon there is going to come a point where it simply is not viable to continue. There must be thousands like me...

  • Comment number 78.

    Listen gone are the days when you could step out the door and grab a Number 5 bus to your work! I recall Lord Tebbits remark about getting on your bike to find work! Trouble is so many of us don't live within this type of commuting distance to our employment, it would probably take several days by bike! So most of us use our cars, and hve little option but to continue to do so! Yes indeed we know we are being ripped off by Oil Companies / Government etc.......MOUTHS TO FEED / ROOF OVER ONES HEAD!!!!

  • Comment number 79.

    Just another example of rip off Britain at work. I live in a rural area, to get to work 8 miles away involves a mile of walking and 3 different buses. If I travelled this way it would take me an hour and a half to get to work, by car it takes me a quarter of an hour. All the people you should be able to trust and act responsibly are ripping us off. That includes, power companies, local councils, the government, oil companies in fact anyone who knows you don't have a lot of choice but to use their service or product. If we are not invaded first (apart from the out of control immigration) Britain will implode, I predict it will be shortly after America does. As a nation we have systematically been destroyed by greed, you can't blame the employees of greedy companies because they are in the same boat as the rest of us. It's the greed of politicians, councillors, company bosses of which the banks are the most obvious. But then most people are their own worst enemy, people have embraced the global economy, it's O.K. when it's not your job that's gone abroad, but wait until it is, what will you do then, pack chickens? As a nation we need a sort out on a grand scale and in the serious position we are in now only revolution fits the bill. Way back in Mrs Thatchers days she put Britain back on it's feet, it gave the company bosses the chance to do the right thing, but what have they done? anything but, they've used the good work Mrs Thatcher did to feather their own nests. Don't you find it strange that everyone in authority is telling you to tighten your belt, take pay cuts, accept that the RPI is nil yet you know prices are steadily rising. You know that those very same people aren't taking a pay cut but a pay rise, they're getting obscene bonuses when their companies are making a loss. They're taking the p*** and banking on getting away with it, well don't let them.

  • Comment number 80.

    The price of diesel isn't high enough by far - just ban it before it poisons us all.

  • Comment number 81.

    " 62. At 12:20pm on 16 Mar 2010, Bryan wrote:
    Two years ago when diesel was 124 per litre I was a sole protester at my local filling station,the difference between diesel and petrol was 14p per litre, it is now the same price so why was there such a large difference?(answer) because they knew very few people would do anything other than moan."

    Alternatively it could 'just' be because no-one had built a new diesel refinery in Europe for 20-odd years yet in that time most major car makers started producing high performance diesel engines as standard. This meant demand for diesel started outstripping supply and the price went up.

    Because of 'green' laws diesel is now being diluted with some bio-diesel and because diesel is now more expensive than petrol its more profitable the oil companies are turning proportionally more crude oil into diesel than petrol.

    'Moaning' has nothing to do with it.... if it did the amount of moaning on HYS would have us all getting free petrol delivered to our door by ex-MPs wearing grey suits with arrows on the sleeves.

  • Comment number 82.

    The anti-car brigade are no doubt rubbing their sweaty little hands together with glee at the thought of the evil motorist having to pay more for their petrol. But they surely must realise that our whole economy is based on petrol. Food at supermarkets for starters and all those things in the shops are moved about using - yes you've guessed it - petrol. Trains, busses, aircraft and electricity power stations all burn off oil of some sort - so that lot will all be going up too. Yippee ! Basically no-one is unaffected when oil prices rise - except of course MPs and Royalty who don't pay for anything themselves anyway.

  • Comment number 83.

    Oil and unltimately petrol is always going to increase in price as this is a finite resource.

    There are far too many cars on the road and far too many people making unnecessary jounreys. Maybe consumers will think twice about purchasing vehicles with features they do not need, such as four wheel drive and ridiculously large and inefficient engines.

    Personally I always avoid using my car when possible, but do feel the Government should invest more in public transport and making alternative methods of transport such as cycling safer.

    If i was to get the bus to work it would cost over £5.00 per day to go 1.5 miles, where is the incentive?

    Needless to say most days i cycle to work as this method is tax free!

  • Comment number 84.

    Will all those people who think the rise in price is somehow a good thing please explain to me where the alternative transport is for my 38-mile journey from Calne to Middle Wallop every day? Or should I just pack in my job?

  • Comment number 85.

    Perhaps we wouldn't have such a problem with the high cost of energy in this country if the Tories had not been allowed to sell off our stake in the Petrol Companies and North Sea Oil to pay for Tax cuts.

  • Comment number 86.

    This is just ridiculous, I'm on a low wage and I'm already spending £100 a month just getting to and from work. I cannot get to either of my two jobs by public transport, to those who say this will cut down on "unnecessary journeys". Who takes the car out just for a jolly these days?! The only other journeys i take are to see friends or relatives, all of whom live miles away in other cities. This won't cut down the amount of cars on the road, but it'll mean people struggling even more. Where am I to find the extra money to pay for the increase in fuel?! As someone else mentioned, Australia manages to sell fuel cheaply, maybe i'll emigrate too!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Back in 1986, my First car, a 1980 Morris Marina cost around £10 to refuel

    In 2010, My current car, which holds the same quantity of fuel costs over £50 per week to refuel.

    Of that, over £40 is tax and VAT.

    it's daylight robbery, pure and simple.

  • Comment number 88.

    Within the space of 8 hours yesterday I paid £1.13 per litre for unleaded and £1.22 per litre. The 9 pence difference is only about profiteering - it was charged at Warwick Services on the M40 - and it seems to me that for too long suppliers have simply asked themselves "How much can we get away with". Whilst I accept that delivery costs can vary across the UK, the M40 is hardly in anybody's 'Hard-to-Reach' category and better regulation to protect motorists should be introduced.

  • Comment number 89.

    #73 "the party who at the general election says they will cut taxes on petrol will win a landslide. however the cash cow (us drivers ) are too easy to squeeze money out of"

    VOTE FOR THE PETER PARTY! I'll cut fuel duty to 1%.

    There's difference between what parties promise to get elected and what they actually deliver once elected.

    #72 It was the Tory's brought in the 'fuel escalator' specifically designed to ensure fuel duty rose faster than inflation, not Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 90.

    Agree with posts #1 and #9 16 March.

    In addition, how else will the Chancellor pay for unresolved (quietly buried) MP and MEP expenses and first class travel, taxis and the rest? Yup, we haven't forgotten.

    Furthermore, local authorities Chief executive pay deals? hmm.

    All that petrol tax duty on top of VAT @ 17.50%, to pay our dues to unelected EU Commissioners expensive little kingdoms who are telling us to get OUR financial house in order? UK wouldn't have to borrow if the EU trimmed their own fat cats?!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Well here we go off Britain at its very best...Come next April when the big oil companies announce they have made several billion pounds profit we will all moan again...we need to a make a stand, the fuel and the retailers are charging a great deal, it is the tax that is crippling the Country. Can't fuzzie brows Darling or Gordon "golden" Brown see what they are doing to us all...are they absolutely oblivious? If the fuel was cheaper then we would all go out more, go to retail parks and drives into the Country and then at these places we would spend money on food and drink and goods and then the economy would grow..istead we are now all prisoners forced to stay at home due to fuel costs...this Country is on a knifes edge...if things come to a head then it will be mob rule...all brought on my government...make sure you vote this lot of rubbish out this time...they won't be happy until they are taking the equivalent of 99p in tax from every £1 earned!
    Fill up with gas is half the price...sure if you get caught you will be prosecuted, but I have never been the chances are stacked in your favour...Buy red diesel and vote this shower out...make a stand...join together, form a buying group and lets import our own fuel!!!!

  • Comment number 92.

    My bicycle runs on pies, chocolate and crisps, so I'm not affected by petrol price rises.
    I know this sounds smug but I feel genuinely sorry for the many people for whom driving is the only option. However, as a law abiding cyclist who gets regular abuse from drivers, I do take comfort in the fact that I'm saving £50 per month, have toned legs and ahealthy BMI, and never have to sit in a traffic jam.

  • Comment number 93.

    We are now paying the price, (literally!) for the lack of foresight and blind faith in the cult of the individual directed by the Thatcher Government. What was the ethos at the time,
    We don't need decent public transport, it's better left to market forces.
    It's our right to have the freedom to drive an environmentally destructive gas guzzler and use up the worlds energy reserves for our individual pleasure.
    We don't need to invest in new energy technologies, it's probably a good idea but we don't like the type of people trying to take this forward.
    It's our right to do whatever we please and have no responsibility for our actions.

    Well, the British public got what the British public asked for, overcrowded roads, absymal & expensive (private) public transport, total dependancy on Oil and the countries that own it.
    The problem is people forget that individual freedom to do what you want means that everybody wants that same freedom, in this case often for each individual member of a family to have their own car, no wonder the roads are crowded and in a bad state of repair.
    Funny how many complain now about the results of their previous beliefs, still unable to balance freedom of individual choice with a sense of personal responsibility.
    It's still all about selfishness for a lot of people in this country, the Thatcher mantra lives on unfortunately.

  • Comment number 94.

    "AJS wrote:
    Petrol prices are never, ever going to come down.

    The world's crude oil reserves are being used up at a faster rate than they have ever been, and there is already precious little left."

    Top Gear did a review on Hydrogen fuelled cars and came away rather impressed with them. Hydrogen is both plentiful & very cheap. The emissions are negligable. The Top Gear opinion was 'forget the electric cars and go for hydrogen cars instead. So why are they only available in the US? Why aren't they being seen or promoted in the UK? Oh, would it be because if the fuel is cheap the govt wouldn't get so much in tax by any chance....??? Would it be because then the super-rich oil companies would no longer have the means to be super-rich?

    Or am I just being cynical?

  • Comment number 95.

    Bring on hydrogen cars I say - the technology is there, what are we waiting for?

    The sooner we end our dependency on oil, the better.

  • Comment number 96.

    Fuel up - Labout Out...Simple

  • Comment number 97.

    Cut the Tax on petrol and increase the top rate of tax to sixty percent where it was for the first eight years of Thatcher's Prime Ministership which most Tories refer to as a Golden Age. Then we had Thatcher's Economic Miracle which bankrupted the country.

  • Comment number 98.

    Given that over 60% of the price you pay for your petrol is taxation of some form then the government is to blame for the high fuel prices.

    Duty is approximately 56p per litre then the government sneakily charges VAT on the price of petrol + duty.

    So you pay tax on duty out of money you've already been taxed on.

  • Comment number 99.

    High petrol price is one way to get people living closer together and to their work & play, so saving time, community & the planet.

    The real cost of cheap petrol is very high.

  • Comment number 100.

    The highest fuel prices in Europe - does the EU commission have a competition commission on such unfair practice?


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