[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
How much is petrol in your town?
A petrol pump
Are you concerned about rising petrol prices with US production hampered by Katrina?

Average petrol prices in the UK rose above 90p a litre for the first time in August.

At some forecourts in London and remote parts of Scotland petrol prices have now hit 1 a litre causing problems for the price boards, which cannot display anything above 99.9p per litre.

Key parts of the US oil industry were in the path of the hurricane and the uncertainty over how oil production will be affected has also sent prices soaring in the US.

Are you concerned? How much does petrol cost in your town? How has it affected you? What should be done?

If you have any photos of the price board at your local garage you can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk


This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Imran, England
Petrol prices in this day and age are soaring continuously, could they reach levels where consumers end up sacrificing their "standard of living?

I remember paying 67.9p about two years ago, now I'm paying 95.9p. My daily mileage has increased considerably since then and I'm concerned I'm not going to be able to afford to run my car and it's only a Fiesta. I was in Cornwall over the bank holiday and paid 89.2p.
Mark, Glos

I filled up today at a cost of 100.3p per litre. Now I live in rural Scotland, almost five miles from any public transport, I'm not on a huge income, and quite simply its got to the stage where I can no longer afford to go where I want, when I please. The government must do something to help rural drivers.
Alex Fulton, Beith, Ayrshire

I drive a 4x4 VW campervan. Not all 4x4's are gas guzzlers. Mine runs on LPG and is better for the environment than most normal cars. I converted it primarily as a concern for the environment. Luckily for me it seems that LPG prices are stable. However, I think it is an outrage that the government are cashing in on the windfall of increased oil prices.
John, Reading

I fully agree with Matt from Plymouth. I pay 31p a litre for LPG. If you want to stop paying 93.9p for a litre of petrol, switch to something else. LPG or bio-diesel are way cheaper and better for the environment. Come on people, this should be a no-brainer.
John Spafford, Liverpool

Petrol where I live costs 1.03 per litre and I am only 14 miles south of Edinburgh. If I drive to Edinburgh I can buy at 98p per litre. What a difference a few miles seem to make.
Allan James Beaton, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Not expensive enough, judging by the numbers of 4x4 and performance cars I saw on the streets of London this morning. If people can afford to waste their money on cars that do 16 miles to the gallon then clearly fuel is too cheap.
Pete, London, UK

The petrol at our local filling stations is 94.9ppl for unleaded and 99.9ppl for diesel. The cheapest that I have seen petrol for is 89.9ppl for unleaded and that was at a nearby Asda petrol station.
Julie Main, Troon, Ayrshire

It cost me almost 10 more to fill up my tank than this time two weeks ago
Anon, UK
It cost me almost 10 more to fill up my tank than this time two weeks ago. Disgusting. It's not so much the petrol price, it's the tax that's piled on top of it.
Anon, UK

People bleat on here about the cost of petrol but how many have tried changing their driving habits to use less fuel? Not too many judging by all the tailgaters and "end of the bonnet" drivers still around!! It's amazing how much fuel you can save by actually taking account of road conditions and keeping your revs down to a reasonable level!!
Matthew, Grays, UK

I filled up with diesel for 94.9 pence on Saturday. Tony Blair wants respect and Gordon Brown treats us like mugs! I'll be buying vegetable oil from now on, clean, green and smells of chips!
Arthur Harman, Hove, UK

As an oil producing nation isn't it about time we stopped exporting our precious resource but refined it just for use in this country? That way we would have to import less oil and be less dependant on other producing countries. Of course, the fact that we have a government willing to tax its own people into the ground indirectly rather than raise taxes directly in a fair manner just adds to the problem.
Chris Frettsome, Mansfield, Notts

Bottled water costs 1 for 500ml at my local gym, so petrol still seems like a bargain price. I feel sorry for the US citizens, who have seen their petrol (sorry, gas) prices going up to as much as 45p a litre.
Alan, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Simple answer; cut the level of tax on fuel - it is, and always has been too high. I'm self employed and it's hard enough trying to make a living with high parking fees, congestion charges, insurance and fuel all going up, month after month, soon it will be too expensive to work. Perhaps I should opt for the dole option, at least I wouldn't be so stressed working every hour of the day.
Ken, Hemel Hempstead

Well I'm sure the oil companies' profits will still be obscene whatever happens. And as for 'gas-guzzling' 4x4s, odd that many of them have better fuel consumption figures than a lot of older vehicles, yet they're still seen as a bane to other road users. How about 'chavved-up' cars with unnecessarily large exhausts, modified engines, spoilers and so on - far worse for fuel economy, ban those first.
Paul, Southampton, UK

Mr Brown isn't going to lower his cut, as the higher fuel rates provide a nice little bonus which should help him achieve his "economic targets". Bit of a problem for the rest of us though.
A Chapman, Boston, Lincs

I was also wondering why diesel is becoming markedly more expensive than petrol
Gigi, Norwich
I was also wondering why diesel is becoming markedly more expensive than petrol. It takes less refining to get the final product and I believe it's just gluttonous fuel-station owners raking in the profits while there's an excuse about to inflate prices. The government aren't doing anything about it, obviously trying to force us onto buses and trains - but public transport in this area is only really adequate in the city, to get to outlying parishes within a reasonable timescale is beyond a joke and rather unpleasant.
Gigi, Norwich

Here in Chatham, Southern Ontario, Canada, gasoline currently sells for $1.35 CAN a litre, roughly 61p a litre. Across the border in Detroit, gasoline currently sells for $3.09 US a gallon, roughly $0.80 US a litre, or 43p a litre. The difference is not so much production costs but the taxes the governments impose on gasoline.
Bob Pennington, Chatham, Ontario, Canada

Motorists in the Highlands and Islands must be irritated to hear BBC Scotland newsreaders talking about the possibility of 1/litre petrol prices in the "remoter" parts of Scotland when these have been the prices on the pumps in several communities for weeks now and prior to the latest increases prompted by Hurricane Katrina. Those who are most dependent upon the private car because of the scarcity of public transport alternatives are the ones who pay most dearly and for every inflated pound they spend the Treasury takes around 80p.
Kenneth MacColl, Oban, Scotland

The Texaco garages around Crawley have no problem displaying prices above 99.9p as they upgraded their standard boards to digital boards a couple of months ago. Their prices as at 5/9 were 99.9 for diesel and 95.6 unleaded. These prices are getting beyond a joke now. Gordon Brown needs to cut tax now, as he must have raked in millions in extra revenue which he can't have accounted for.
Iain, Crawley

It seems that the garages are profiteering from other people's misery
Mark, Malvern, Worcestershire
On Saturday I took a trip to Hereford from my home near Malvern and passed a garage selling unleaded at 99.9p/litre. Two hours later upon my return the same garage had increased it to 101.9/litre. It seems that the garages are profiteering from other people's misery or at least trying to make a fast buck or two. Unfortunately for them I filled up in Hereford paying 95.6/litre.
Mark, Malvern, Worcestershire

Since Katrina our gasoline price has increased 13 cents a litre to $1.19. I believe that the sense of looter mentality has been transferred to the major oil company executives.
Ian Brace, Regina, Canada

It's 98.9p here at the moment. I would take public transport, but having been delayed 2 hours during the outward journey and 1 1/2 hours on the return last week (on what should be 2 hour journeys), I don't really have that option!
Claire, Leeds,UK

We filled up in Kendal for 102/litre yesterday. With a nearly empty tank, we had no option!
Em, Leicestershire, UK

Just to clarify, petrol is not that much cheaper in the US until you factor in the taxes. To support the health service, unemployment benefits etc, the money has to come from somewhere.
Andrew Davis, Miami (ex UK)

As a low mileage driver the rise has increased my usage from 40 a month to 50. My partner (who commutes 600 miles a week) now spends more a month on Diesel than on his mortgage! His next purchase will probably be an LPG vehicle. It's a shame public transport is still poor in terms of links, time and reliability.
Rachel, Nottingham

Renewables and alternatives is the only way forward
Martyn Bradshaw, Isle of Skye
Petrol is now 99.9p a litre here as well. However, if the petrol price being so high incentifies people to ditch petrol and diesel engines in favour of alternatives then that is a good thing. It is high time car drivers appreciated that oil is a fossil fuel, it will run out, and no matter what the government does tax wise the price will only ever rise. Renewables and alternatives is the only way forward, now is a good time to start.
Martyn Bradshaw, Isle of Skye

I recently improved my middle-aged car's fuel economy and I wonder if others could do the same? What I found is this: (1) If engine doesn't idle smoothly, use a fuel treatment to clean injectors and valves, so the engine runs more efficiently. (2) Try Super Unleaded. Though it costs more per litre, some engines (especially Japanese) are actually cheaper to run on it because of the improved mpg. (3) When you replace the exhaust, don't just go for the cheapest, they have baffles in the silences which reduce engine performance. Spend a bit more on a "straight through" exhaust (usually stainless steel). After all this, I use about 10% less petrol and the car is much more fun to drive too!
Simon, Bristol

Petrol must be incredibly cheap - everywhere I go I see folks parked up with engines running for no conceivable reason whatsoever (by the way, in Switzerland this lands you a 100 franc fine).
Denis Murphy, Birmingham UK

My company has not adjusted the amount I'm entitled to claim for mileage for 6 years now and is unlikely to. Forcing businesses to help absorb these costs should be the government's priority if they refuse to decrease the massive amount they make in fuel taxation.
Anon

I filled up at Tesco for 91.9p this morning, Manchester. Fortunately I ride a motorbike so it only cost me 11 in total, which will give me around 3 days of commuting (approx 40 miles a day there and back). One of my staff does pretty much the same journey by train and lo and behold the train was cancelled this morning making him over 30 minutes late for work. Yep, we've certainly viable alternatives to personal transport.
Richard, Manchester

Over the last few weeks here, even before Katrina, the price varied between the equivalent of 88p and 105p, often in the same afternoon. The oil companies were clearly seeing what the consumer would put up with. Now it's stabilised with my local garage charging about 108p.
Dave W, Bergen, Norway

94.9p/litre here in Reading. The time has come for the Government to cut the tax on fuel - after all, they must be really raking in the extra VAT as a result of recent price increases.
Roger Price, Reading, UK

If people were to drive smaller cars that consumed less fuel they would not only save money at the pumps they help the environment, but sadly some people would rather moan at the cost or fuel than sell their SUV.
Simon, Canterbury

Why don't we start putting our unused farmland to good use and grow the fuel we need
Kit Barker, Sheffield, UK
With prices rising as they are and oil running out why are we still using it so much? We all know most diesel cars can use many other oils including vegetable and seed oils. Why don't we start putting our unused farmland to good use and grow the fuel we need instead of being at the mercy of large oil producing nations?
Kit Barker, Sheffield, UK

There's little that actually can be done. We, as motorists, can drive at the fuel efficient 56mph (remember, like those of us who had to drive did during the fuel 'crisis'). About all government can do is cut tax levels but these are not what is fuelling current prices. To reduce prices we need to reduce demand. But then the rising demand is mainly from India and China so there's nothing we can do there. We're all affected and there's nothing we can do about except put up and shut up.
Tim, Fareham, UK

It is in the interests of government to encourage petrol prices to remain high for as long as possible. In my town, prices rose by over 4p/litre over the course of last week. By my estimates, if prices do not fall, that would generate an extra 1 billion in VAT revenues alone over a 12 month period.
CJ, London, UK

It is only the driving addicts, multinationals and supermarkets that will suffer
Stu, Bristol, UK
I don't care how expensive petrol becomes. The more expensive it is, the better for the environment and our local producers. It is only the driving addicts, multinationals and supermarkets that will suffer. Meanwhile the rest of us will walk or cycle whilst enjoying the slump in global warming.
Stu, Bristol, UK

Petrol in central Cardiff seems to be 89.9 to 93.9 at the supermarket pumps; I have seen it at 98.9 at a garage 5 miles from the centre of Cardiff. I certainly walk and cycle a lot more now directly as a result of high fuel prices.
Richie, Cardiff, UK

Current local price in North Kent varies from 94 to 99p Why can't the government ease off with their tax a little to help us out?. They tell us that they can't help the cost of crude, but they make more every time the price is inched up a little - do they think we don't understand how percentages work?
Nick, Kent

The spiralling price of petrol is getting ridiculous and surely an incentive for us all to walk more! Personally I don't drive, and I can still remember the days when having a motor car was incredibly an incredible rare thing. I would love a return to those days so I could enjoy my evening stroll without breathing in other people's noxious fumes.
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh

The high cost of fuel in this country is due to tax (even after the hurricane fuel costs in the US are a fraction of ours). It's obscene that the treasury should benefit from motorists misery and expect us to bear the burden. To ease the pain the government should cut the tax level for 6 months until things stabilise again - but they won't!
Mike, Worthing, England

Off topic slightly, but now is the time the government should be looking at alternative fuels for vehicles - be that 'chip fat' or LPG or whatever. Firstly it's a lot cleaner. Secondly it removes our dependence on oil from the Middle East (which will run out soon anyway). Thirdly, we may even be able to get a technical lead on other countries and attract car manufacture back to Britain - its inevitable that the petrol engine will die in a decade or two anyway - Let's lead the way!
Paul, Cardiff, UK

It's still cheap compared to the inconvenience of public transport. I can still drive a Jaguar from London to Bristol and back during peak hours for half the cost of the rail fare.
Stuart, Surrey

By Sunday this garage had put its price up to 94.9p/litre - a 4p jump overnight
Helen, Wokingham, Berkshire
On Saturday morning, the garage nearest my home in Wokingham, Berkshire was charging 95.9p/litre. A different garage a mile down the road was charging 90/9p. By Sunday this garage had put its price up to 94.9p/lire - a 4p jump overnight. The staff in my nearest garage told me they'd put their prices up 1p a litre on Thursday morning and then were told to put in up a further 2p that evening. I think we have to accept that the days of 'cheap' petrol are over - as long as we're all wedded to our cars then oil companies and the government can charge and tax what they like as they know people will keep driving.
Helen, Wokingham, Berkshire

The price of 99p a litre, and that's just in Finchley in north London. When are we going to design cars, buildings, energy facilities which don't use any/as much oil? Money should be put into other forms of energy. And every new building should have to be green and energy efficient. Petrol and the like is not the future, its killing out future.
Anon, London

I invested in a modern LPG installation 5 years ago. Prices have not gone up as far as I can tell, between 37.9 and 41.9 pence, and if one is lucky enough to live near Bristol, the ASDA and Morrison outlets on Cribbs Causeway only charge 28.9 ppl. Instead of complaining there are a lot of alternative fuels, LPG, Bio diesel people (and the government) should try.
Matt, Plymouth

Methinks there's a fair bit of profiteering going on - as it varies between 93.9p and 98.9p..! (Cambridge, this is.) Cheapest I've always found is Tesco at Lakeside, Essex - currently (5th September) 91.9p.
David, London, UK

Simple answer - too much. Petrol and diesel are massively overtaxed, and the Government should look to reduce this level of taxation when there are supply difficulties such as these, rather than using it as a way to fill the black hole in public finances.
Alan, Northampton UK

Petrol prices should rise until SUVs and people carriers disappear from city streets - how anyone that owns one can complain about petrol prices is beyond me.
Matt Munro, Bristol, UK

The UK has the most expensive fuel in the world
Jorg, Yeoford, UK
The UK has the most expensive fuel in the world - mostly due to excessive taxation - the government ought to offer to reduce the tax to avoid possible hardship for lower income families - but this family friendly government is not family friendly.
Jorg, Yeoford, UK

Of course I am worried. Petrol prices (or at least the tax on it) was far too high to start with. Any increase in cost will affect the prices of just about everything in the shops - it all has to be delivered! High time that commercial fuel tax was at least halved - then we all benefit.
Roger, Poole, UK

The car now stays in the garage. I'm adopting other means of getting about. You adapt to survive. My car in the garage is bad for the economy though (but good for the environment.)
Jonathan, Bath

While it's a major pain in the wallet - I'm glad. It will cut over dependence petrol/diesel cars. Roll on electric and hydrogen cars. Makes me wonder if I should buy a new car though?
Roland, Stirling, Scotland

I took my motorbike on a trip to Wales at the weekend and paid 105.9 ppl at one petrol station that wasn't even particularly remote! Couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, I'm only glad it has just an 18 litre tank and does 45mpg!
Chris, MK, UK

I'm more concerned that, as we've seen before, a price rise now will not be followed by a price drop later should barrel prices become cheaper. We all know it's too expensive as this has a direct knock-on affect to so many other life related issues. That said, we've become too dependent on it and the capitalists like that.
Ian C, Midlands, UK

The government isn't supposed to preside over a massive rip-off on the public
Dave Ball, Wokingham, UK
The government has stayed absolutely silent on their windfall. Right now, Gordon Brown should reduce fuel taxation to a level that is revenue neutral. That's only fair - the government isn't supposed to preside over a massive rip-off on the public, though god-knows they've been doing that for years through their stealth taxes.
Dave Ball, Wokingham, UK

Unfortunately a garage in South Queensferry doesn't have a problem with displaying more than 99p and I paid 103.9p per litre for diesel on Saturday. If Mr Brown doesn't cut fuel tax soon, even temporarily, the increased prices will hit the UK economy and probably reflect in inflation figures.
Brian, Edinburgh

Unfortunately soaring prices in the US mean they must now be paying, what, 11 pence a gallon now? I'm presuming once oil supplies get back to normal then the price will drop again to reflect this? No? Thought not.
Dave, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Although I am hugely sympathetic to people who have suffered in the southern US I hope the fuel price rises across the pond continue. They must double to match those in the UK. That is the only way America is going to take fuel conservation seriously and stop driving around in gas guzzling trucks. The US is a major contributor to global warming, and we can all see the effects of extreme weather and melting polar ice caps on our TV screens right now.
Rick Hough, Knutsford, Cheshire

There were protests when petrol was approaching 80p a litre yet nothing now
Nathan, Northants
I've been on holiday for a week, come back and petrol in some garages in my area has hit 99.9p - it's gone mad! Yet what I find bizarre is that there were protests when petrol was approaching 80p a litre yet nothing now, but, I'm stuck, I need my car to get to work so I, like everyone else will just have to pay up.
Nathan, Northants

I find it very odd that with petrol prices soaring I see ever more gas guzzling 4x4's on the roads. Do these people want to waste money?
Dan, UK

This morning I paid 94.9p per litre. Hopefully the price will rise even higher and remove the school run gas guzzlers driven by a woman with a mobile glued to her ear and containing one obese child off the roads.
Trevor, Cambs, UK

Petrol where I live was nearly 95p per litre before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. I'm thinking of investing in a pony and trap, unless Gordon Brown plans to tax bales of hay!
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK





PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific