The price of petrol has broken through the 140p a litre barrier for the first time.

The average price at the pumps reached 140.20p per litre at the end of last week, with diesel at a new record of 146.72p, the AA says.

Key Points

  • Average petrol price hits 140.20p a litre
  • Diesel at new record of 146.72p a litre
  • Fuel duty rise still planned for August

Petrol prices have now risen more than 2.75p a litre in just three weeks, while the cost was 132.25p a litre at the beginning of the year.

At the start of 2012, the cost of diesel stood at an average of 140.56p.

The AA says that for the owner of a car consuming, on average, 106.17 litres of petrol a month, this year's 7.95p a litre increase in petrol has added £8.44 to the monthly fuel bill.

Fuel duty rise

In his Budget last week, Chancellor George Osborne said the fuel duty rise planned for August, which with VAT added will amount to 3.62p a litre more for road users, would be going ahead.

The AA says this rise would mean monthly petrol costs would, by August, have increased by more than £12 since the start of the year.

It adds that at current prices, this would slash two-thirds of the £18.33 a month (£220 a year) increase in the personal allowance set out in the Budget.

RAC technical director David Bizley says: "Just days after the chancellor refused to cancel the planned August rise, prices have now hit another painful barrier for Britain's hard-pressed motorists.

"A figure of £1.40 a litre is a massive price for people to have to pay and there is no end in sight to rising prices. The way things are going the planned duty rise will see average petrol prices hit the £1.50 a litre mark – forcing more and more people who need their cars off the road." See the Cheap Petrol guide.

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