Motorists suffered the biggest monthly rise in the average price of petrol in at least 18 years with 6p a litre being added at the pumps in May, new data from the RAC reveals.

The average cost of unleaded fuel shot up from 123.43p to 129.41p per litre, taking the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car to £71.18 – an increase of £3.29 in just one month.

The average price of a litre of diesel rose by 6.12p, from 126.27p to 132.39p. This is the second biggest rise since the start of 2000 – when the RAC started recording the data – but still some way behind the 8.43p increase seen in May 2008 (120.83p to 129.26p).

Neither unleaded nor diesel have been priced this high since 2014. Unleaded was last at current levels at the start of October 2014 whilst diesel was last at current levels in mid-August 2014.

In May the big four supermarkets raised petrol by 5.49p a litre and diesel by 5.88p on average. On the motorway, service stations added 6.37p to unleaded, taking it to 144.75p a litre, and 6.69p to diesel making it 147.80p a litre – 15p a litre above average UK prices for both fuels.

Data from the RAC also shows the average prices of both petrol and diesel have gone up every single day since 22 April – the longest sustained price increase since March 2015.

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