The cost of filling an average family car with diesel has topped £90 for the first time, as soaring oil prices hit household budgets.
The RAC motoring group said the average price of a litre of diesel rose 3p overnight to a record 165.24p – the second biggest daily jump since 2000.
Tuesday’s oil embargo on Russia for invading Ukraine has left governments searching for alternative supplies.
The UK gets 8% of its oil imports from Russia, but about 18% of its diesel.
A litre of petrol was now 158.2p, a 2p rise, the RAC said.
The latest jump in pump prices is likely to have been pushed higher by soaring wholesale costs before Tuesday’s announcement that the UK intends to phase out its imports by the end of 2020.
A barrel of crude oil rose 1.3% on Wednesday, and experts say this will feed through into still higher retail prices.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The diesel daily increase was the second largest on record since 2000.
“The cost of a filling a 55-litre family car with petrol is now £87 – £7 more than it was at the start of the year. Diesel drivers are even worse off with a tank now costing more than £90 for the first time ever – £8 more than in early January.”
And he warned of more pain at the pump: “Petrol is now certain to top an average of £1.60 a litre this week while diesel will progress very quickly towards £1.70.”
The US said on Tuesday it would immediately ban Russian oil and gas, and the EU vowed to cut is gas imports by two thirds this year.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted that the UK’s transition would give its “market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports”.
Businesses should use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected.— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) March 8, 2022
The government will also work with companies through a new Taskforce on Oil to support them to make use of this period in finding alternative supplies.
Robert Buckley, an energy analyst at Cornwall Insight, told the BBC the UK ban was “largely symbolic” because Russian oil was such a small part of its overall energy mix.
However, together with the US ban, and widespread boycotts by western companies, the move is likely to increase already high oil prices in the coming weeks, he said.
“This is a global market and you’ve got to replace that displaced supply somehow,” Mr Buckley told the BBC.
“At the margin, this decision will act to support oil prices which are already extremely high.”