The average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol costs more than £100 for the first time, the RAC has said.
The situation will likely worsen the cost of living crisis for motorists and for customers, as businesses will at some point look to pass on their rising costs.
RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “It’s a truly dark day today for drivers with petrol now crossing the thoroughly depressing threshold of £100 a tank (£100.27p). A complete diesel fill-up now costs £103.43.
“With average prices so high – 182.31p for a litre of unleaded and 188.05p for diesel – there’s almost certainly going to be upward inflationary pressure, which is bad news for everybody.”
In March, the chancellor cut fuel duty by 5p in an effort to shield drivers from the increasing cost of fuel, but the RAC said this measure now looks “paltry”, adding that wholesale petrol costs have increased by five times that amount since then.
“A further duty cut or a temporary reduction in VAT would go a long way towards helping drivers, especially those on lower incomes who have no choice other than to drive,” Mr Williams said
“It’s also important to remember that the government is still benefitting from the high fuel prices by taking around 30p in VAT from every litre sold. This compares to just 25p before Russia invaded Ukraine.
“On top of this the government is still collecting 53p fuel duty from every litre.”
Also on Wednesday, the price of diesel increased by nearly 2p to 184.13p and the average price for a litre of unleaded at a supermarket jumped 2.5p to 175.91p.
Prices at the pumps have risen sharply in recent months, driven by the spiralling cost of oil.
The price of crude oil plummeted during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as stay-at-home orders in many countries hit demand.
But after major economies reopened, prices gradually rose until February when major oil producer Russia invaded Ukraine, forcing Brent crude prices to hit about $130 a barrel.
The concerns about oil supply have coincided with China’s massive manufacturing sector returning to business after the easing of pandemic restrictions there – something else which will increase demand.