UK drivers experienced a significant increase in fuel prices last month, with one of the sharpest jumps seen in more than two decades, according to the RAC motoring organization. The average cost of filling up a tank increased by approximately £4 ($5.05) in August. Unleaded gasoline rose nearly 7 pence per liter, while diesel rose 8 pence.

The price increase could have been even higher if major retailers had not allowed margins to return to more normal levels. The RAC attributed the increase in gasoline prices to oil costs as the OPEC group of producers and its allies limited production. This led to an increase in the wholesale cost of fuel, which retailers passed on to consumers.

The increase in fuel prices comes at a time when London drivers face stricter emissions regulations. The expanded ultra-low emissions zone now includes a £12.50 charge for vehicles that do not meet pollution standards.

Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the RAC, expressed the surprise of drivers, who had become accustomed to lower prices compared to last summer’s record highs. He highlighted the frustration of witnessing the cost of filling up a tank increase by £4 or more in a matter of weeks.

Looking ahead, the RAC expressed concerns about the health of China’s economy and the end of the U.S. summer driving season, which could potentially affect fuel costs.

Overall, UK drivers have faced a substantial increase in fuel prices in August, driven primarily by the cost of oil and restrictions imposed on production by OPEC and its allies. The additional spending, coupled with the expanded emissions zone in London, has brought challenges for drivers. Concerns about future fuel costs persist, as factors such as the health of the Chinese economy and the end of the U.S. summer driving season could influence prices.

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