The average price of diesel across the UK hit a new record high of 147.94p a litre on Sunday (October 31). This surpasses the previous high of 147.93p set on April 12, 2012, according to the RAC.

Petrol prices have also hit new highs, hitting 144.35p on (Sunday October 31).

Bio the way

The price of a litre of diesel has gone up a 30p a litre in a year, making a full 55-litre tank £16 more expensive (£65 to £81).

Oil prices on the open market have doubled to above $80 from $40 a barrel a year ago. But when it comes to diesel, the prices are also being fuelled by the high cost biodiesel.

Currently, around 10% of the diesel drivers buy at the forecourt consists of biodiesel. This works out at around 16p of the cost of a litre at the pumps, whereas ‘pure’ diesel (93%) makes up around 40p. Biodiesel is also three and a half times the price of diesel itself on the wholesale market – a tonne costs around £1,800, whereas diesel is £520, says RAC.

Different ingredients

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams isn’t surprised by the new record. However he admits that “it’s still another body blow” to drivers.

It is also affecting businesses: “This will have a knock-on effect on the price we pay for goods and services as diesel is very much the fuel of business and, as such, will contribute further to inflation.

Interestingly, petrol and diesel prices are following different paths to the same result. “Unlike petrol, where retailers have increased their margin on every litre sold compared to 2012, the profit being taken on diesel is the same as it was nine and a half years ago”.

Diesel devils

The new record price will be felt by the UK’s 12.5m diesel car drivers, along with increasing costs to businesses. The UK has 4.5m vans, the vast majority of which run on diesel, and 525,000 heavy goods vehicles.