A STRONGER dollar and a pound “weakened by the Scottish referendum” have put the brake on falling petrol prices, according to the AA.
Low world oil prices should have led to UK petrol and diesel prices dipping to a level not seen since January 2011.
Instead, prices have started to rise again, with petrol going up from an average of 128.72p a litre on August 31 to 129.23p a litre in mid-September.
Diesel, too, has risen, with the average cost going up from 133.02p a litre on August 31 to an average of 133.44p a litre now.
The AA said that had the pound held its mid-August value, the average cost of petrol would have now been around 127.5p a litre - the lowest since January 5 2011.
AA president Edmund King said: “There is a lot of anger and frustration being vented by AA members and other drivers that, although the oil price has fallen significantly, pump prices have started to go up again.
“It is a clear illustration of how the value of the pound is critical when buying commodities such as oil and wholesale fuel that are traded in dollars.”
He went on: “It is also a double-edged sword. Earlier this year, the impact of oil prices rising to 115 dollars a barrel was offset by a strong pound trading at nearly 10 cents higher on the dollar.
“However, although the dollar has been strengthened by speculation of an interest rate rise in the US, another part of the equation has been the weakening of the pound on speculation of the outcome of the Scottish referendum.
“The impact of the referendum result may be felt by motorists on both sides of the border sooner than they think - perhaps over the following fortnight, depending on whether the effect on the pound is sustained.”
At present East Anglia has the most expensive in the UK, averaging 129.7p a litre. The cheapest is to be had in London and in Yorkshire and Humberside (both 128.9p a litre).
East Anglia motorists are also enduring the highest average price for diesel, at 134.0p a litre, while north west England and Yorkshire and Humberside drivers have the cheapest, both averaging 133.0p a litre.