PETROL prices have rocketed since the beginning of the year leaving many motorists out of pocket.
Drivers who were already paying record prices for petrol at the pumps before the new year, welcomed in 2011 with an increase on New Year’s Day, followed by a VAT increase – which added a further 3.5p per litre – just three days later.
Now that most people are back at work, the effect of the increases is hitting home.
Carlo Finlinson, 37, a security worker from Sunderland, said: “The increase is ridiculous. I can’t even afford to run a car anymore.
“I’ll take the car out every now and again but we got the bus in to town today – it’s much easier.
“Car parking is too expensive now as well. It makes a lot more sense to use public transport.”
Diesel has risen from a national average of £1.12 a litre in January 2010, to £1.32 now, and petrol isn’t far behind rising from £1.10 a litre to £1.27.
Retired George Lascelles, 59, from Hylton Castle said: “The prices are disgusting, and even bus prices are going up. Everything is getting more expensive.
“It will make a big difference to my day-to-day life.”
According to price comparison website, petrolprices.com, Sunderland is not far behind the national average with the standard price of petrol in the area set at £1.25 per litre and diesel at £1.30.
Andrew Brown, 37, a call centre worker, said his family is struggling to run their two cars.
He said: “We’ve got two cars, a petrol and a diesel and it costs nearly £100 each to fill them up now that the prices have risen. My wife is on maternity leave from work and we have twin girls so we need to use the car to get around a lot, but we just can’t afford it.
His wife Lorraine, 36, said: “I’m dreading going back to work, it’s going to be a nightmare.”
The AA estimated that the rises would mean motorists spending tens of millions of pounds more on fuel per month than this time last year.