Motorists have been warned that the cost of filling up their cars is to rise dramatically within a few years and could hit £100 per tank of petrol, leading economists warn.
Struggling families were told to brace to expect the average cost of unleaded petrol to rise from an average of £1.34.8 today to £1.54 within four years.
Experts said this would the cost of filling up a Ford Mondeo, which has a 70-litre tank, will rise from just over £93 to nearly £108.
After a brief respite, fuel costs will rise again within a few months amid surging demand from booming Asia economies, which are expected to trigger a boom in oil markets, according to forecasters at the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.
This is despite oil and petrol prices expected to fall soon, as disruptions to supply from the Libya conflict and recent Hurricane Irene – America’s most lethal and financially damaging hurricane in recent few years – fade.
The steep rise in energy and petrol prices will intensify the squeeze on households at a time when average pay rises are well below inflation.
“By 2013 prices at the pumps will be eating into household finances once again,” said Neil Blake, a senior economic adviser to the ITEM Club.
“Demand from the emerging markets will maintain the pressure on inflation, as will the increase in fuel duty on the home front.”
George Osborne, the Chancellor, is set to introduce a deferred annual increase of 3p a litre in January, followed by another likely rise next August.