Motorists warned to top up now ahead of petrol price hikes this weekend that could affect millions

The AA is urging drivers to act now ahead of Saturday, when it estimated a wave of increases to kick in.

Petrol prices could soar by 2p a litre this weekend as tensions over the Middle East escalate, experts have warned- writes theuk.one

And further rises of up to 5.5p a litre are around the corner as wholesales prices have rocketed by 4p a litre in less than four weeks.

On Thursday, oil prices were at a three and a half year high of almost $72 a barrel sparking fears that motorists will be hammered at the pumps.

The AA is urging drivers to fill up ahead of the weekend as prices for unleaded could rise from 121p per litre to 123p and diesel leap from 123.61p to 125.61p by Saturday.

And industry body the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said a 4p per litre rise in wholesale costs will filter through to the forecourts.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “President Trump’s promise that US missiles ‘will be coming’ to Syria caused the price to climb sharply amid a volley of threats between the US and Russia and an attempted Houthi air strike from Yemen targeting oil titan Saudi Arabia.

“The Houthi attacks on the world’s largest oil producer spurred global oil markets up almost 9% this week alone to the highest prices seen since December 2014.”

The AA added: “There’s a lot of concern about missile strikes and if there is a possibility that markets will be disrupted then speculators will send the price even higher.”

And worldwide supplies are also down as the oil rich OPEC nations ((Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) revealed the glut was dwindling following high demand and a drop in production in Venezuela as well as blips in Libya and Angola.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said: “We have seen an accelerated shrinkage of stocks in storage from unparalleled highs of about 400 million barrels to about 43 million above the five-year average.”

Analysts say the Middle East crisis could keep oil above $70 a barrel until May but expected prices to come back down over the summer.

How you can save on fuel all year round

Fill up at busy petrol stations -These stations buy more fuel and can take advantage of falling prices. “The big petrol stations have deliveries every day so they can change the price,” Arthur Renshaw, of petrol station analyst Catalist Experian, toldThe Mirror. “But a small petrol station in a village may have a delivery every couple of weeks.”

Choose a big station -Stations buy their fuel on the wholesale market. Just as in any other negotiation, the big buyers are better able to strike a deal.

Look for a cluster of stations -When several stations are close together, they are more likely to cut prices to tempt drivers in. “If you are in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, you have much less competition than in the centre of Manchester,” said Renshaw.

Do your research -The website PetrolPrices.com allows you to compare prices in your area. It also lists the latest average prices, so you know if you’re being ripped off.

Play the supermarket game -Supermarkets are competing on fuel prices along with everything else. When you’re shopping, keep an eye out for vouchers offering petrol discounts. But be aware of the overall cost. “That is one way to get prices down below £1, but you do need to buy a lot of food to get that result,” PetrolPrices.com owner Peter Zaborszky said.

Stop by provincial towns -Airports, motorways, expensive cities and rural areas have the highest charges, according to PetrolPrices.com analysis. “The golden path is down the middle where rent is cheap,” Zaborszky explained.

Read more news of London on our site.

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