AA calls for Government action as price of diesel hits all-time high at over 143p a litre

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The price of diesel has overtaken the record set in May last year to reach an all-time high.

The average price is now 143.05p a litre, according to the AA.

Since peaking at 143.04p a litre on May 5 last year, the pump price of diesel fell back to 137.59p in July before starting to climb again. Two years ago, diesel in the UK averaged 113.62p a litre.

For a commercial van with an 80-litre fuel tank, the cost of filling up has risen from £90.90 in February 2010 to £114.44 today, having dropped to £110.07 in July.

Petrol prices have experienced similar fluctuations. The average price of petrol two years ago was 112.03p a litre and climbed to a record 137.43p on May 5 2011. Prices then fell to 132.25p a litre at the turn of the New Year before starting to increase again, to reach the latest figure of 135. 39p.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said drivers had hoped that below-record prices would hold until the spring, when winter price pressures on diesel traditionally ease.

He warned the impact of record diesel prices will be felt by everyone as higher transport costs are passed on to business and consumers.

He added: “With some delivery and haulage firms adding a diesel surcharge to invoices, costs will rise faster than most people expect and stoke inflation again.”

The AA has written to the Chancellor calling for an investigation of the oil, refining, fuel product and retail markets to ensure UK families and business are protected from over-inflated prices.

It has also called for an end to annual fuel duty increases while the economy falters. This includes cancelling the planned rise in August.