The price of filling a tank of petrol has hit £100 for the first time as the cost of living crisis deepens.
Petrol prices have risen to 182.31p per litre, which left a full tank for the average family car costing £100.27.
The Government’s 5p fuel duty cut announced in March has already been effectively wiped out by soaring prices, triggering calls for another intervention. There has also been accusations of profiteering and threats to name and shame those companies not passing on the fuel duty cut.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are continuing to look at all possible options. Transparency may have an important role to play.
“It is important the public understand what actions each of the fuel retailers are taking and so we are considering what further options we can take in this area.”
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said if evidence was found the 5p fuel duty cut had not been passed on it would launch an investigation, with fines for offending retailers possible.
It came as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that the UK will suffer the lowest growth next year of any developed country as the war in Ukraine fuels inflation.
Growth will slump from 7.4pc last year to 3.6pc this year before completely grinding to a halt in 2023, the influential think tank said as it urged Rishi Sunak to consider tax cuts to help businesses and consumers.
Soaring fuel prices were first triggered by gas supply complications from Covid lockdowns but escalated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Petrol price rises are just one aspect of the financial squeeze on households which will see the biggest drop in household disposable income since records began in the 1950s, according to official government forecasts.
Energy bills are more than doubling in a year, tax rises began to kick in last month and inflation is expected to exceed 9 per cent in 2022, cutting into real wages.
The cost of living crisis has been identified by Boris Johnson’s advisers as one of the biggest political challenges in the coming years, combined with the threat of recession later this year.
A £22 billion package was announced by Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, recently to ease the energy price increase but already pressure is building again from PMs for more help.
The average pump price hit 182.31p per litre on Wednesday after jumping by more than 2pc in just 24 hours earlier in the week, marking the biggest one-day increase in 17 years.
In some locations it meant petrol overtook diesel as the most expensive fuel per litre, although on a national basis average diesel prices also hit another record high of 188.05p, according to RAC figures.
The latest jump takes the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car to £100.27. A complete diesel fill-up now costs £103.43.
Simon Williams of the RAC said: “It’s a truly dark day today for drivers with petrol now crossing the thoroughly depressing threshold of £100 a tank.
“With average prices so high there’s almost certainly going to be upward inflationary pressure, which is bad news for everybody.”
The Government’s 5p fuel duty cut, announced on March 23 when the average litre cost 177.5p, was effectively wiped out by mid-May when prices reached another record high of 178.4p.
Price comparison website PetrolPrices said the most expensive price being charged is 202.9p per litre at BP sites on the A1(M) near Sunderland, Tyne and Wear; the A1(M) near Wetherby, West Yorkshire; the M4 near Chippenham, Wiltshire; and the M6 near Burton-in-Kendal, Cumbria.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has the power to launch an investigation into whether the duty cut has been passed on.
“We know that there has been variation in that and we do want to see it passed on at all petrol stations. We are not confident that that is happening across the board,” the spokesman said.
“The CMA have said that if they find evidence that the cut is not being passed on that would mean competition is not working and they could launch a formal investigation. Obviously we would wholeheartedly support them.”
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent filling stations, declined to respond to the remarks when approached by the PA news agency.