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A litre of petrol sold at UK forecourts has reached its highest level since September 2012, at 140.22p on average, according to RAC data.

Drivers are paying on average 22% more to fill up their petrol tanks than this time last year, the RAC said.

Diesel prices are also surging and are now just 4p off their April 2012 highs.

The bad news for drivers follows the temporary closures of many UK forecourts after they ran out of fuel.

But it’s global oil prices, rather than supply chain disruption, that the RAC thinks is the main driver of higher prices at the pump. A barrel of crude oil has doubled in the past year.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the government should consider cutting the level of VAT on motor fuel “to help hard-pressed drivers”.

Average petrol prices are just 2p off their record high from April 2012 of 142p per litre, says the RAC.