Petrol prices could hit record high £1.48 a litre as soaring oil costs hit pumps

Petrol prices could hit a record high as the soaring cost of oil reaches the pumps.

Figures show 143p a litre for unleaded and 148p for diesel is on the cards – beating the previous highs in April 2012 of 142.48p and 147.93p.

The RAC said motorists face a squeeze on budgets if oil hits $100 a barrel.

It is at $64 now and is likely to reach $80 later this year.

JP Morgan warns it could reach $100 in the next 12 months.

Only a strong pound is keeping prices down but if the dollar rallies “it is likely to lead to higher costs for drivers”, the RAC said.

And the AA revealed the cost of filling up has risen by more than £4 since December.

Average petrol prices are now 121.85p for unleaded and 124.9p for diesel – both up by 3p a litre month-on-month.

And with a fuel duty hike on the cards in the Chancellor’s Budget on March 3, experts fear a bumpy ride.

The RAC’s Simon Williams said: “The last thing drivers, and possibly the economy, need is a fuel duty increase.

“It could put pressure on lower-income households and might force everyone who depends on their cars to consider cutting back on other spending.”