The average price of both diesel and petrol rose in September at UK filling stations, according to the RAC.

Its data showed that the average price of a litre of diesel was up by 2.5p to 139.25p, while the average litre of petrol was up by 1.5p to 136.83p.

The rises, said by the RAC to be unrelated to the fuel delivery issues seen in recent weeks with queues at filling stations, mean diesel is now 21p per litre more expensive than it was a year ago, while petrol has gone up by 22p.

The price of both fuels is now at the highest level seen since autumn 2013.

The RAC said the rises had been caused by a 10.65% increase in the cost of oil during September.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: “As life moves ever closer to normal as the world gets to grips with Covid-19, demand for oil is outpacing supply, and with producer group OPEC+ deciding on Monday not to release more oil, the barrel price has now broken through the $80-mark for the first time in more than three years. 

“This looks likely to spell further misery for drivers at the pumps as we head towards Christmas, especially as some analysts are predicting the price could even hit $90 before the end of the year. 

“If this were to happen, we could see the average price of unleaded hit a new record of around 143p per litre. Diesel would shoot up to 145p which is only 3p off the record high of 147.93 in April 2021.”

Williams said that while some smaller retailers had charged very high prices for fuel amid the recent supply crisis, these cases appear to be few and far between, with most acting responsibly.

He added: “Since many of Britain’s pumps ran dry over the last weekend of September our patrols have dealt with a surge in out-of-fuel breakdowns. 

“At its worst they attended 13 times as many as they would do typically in a single day, but fortunately this has now subsided to just twice as many.”