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Average fuel price hits $5 a gallon in US

Average petrol prices in the US have surged to $5 a gallon (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Average petrol prices in the US have surged to $5 a gallon (Rick Bowmer/AP)

The average price for a gallon of petrol in America has topped 5 US dollars (£4.05) for the first time ever.

Car club AAA said while the average price on Saturday is 5 dollars, motorists in some parts of the country, especially California, are paying far above that.

The national average price has jumped 19 cents (15p) in the past week, and it is up 1.93 US dollars (£1.56) from this time last year.

The average price of a litre of unleaded in the UK on Thursday was £183.2p, which is about £8.25 a gallon (10.16 US dollars).

Fuel prices
Prices have crept up 19 cents (15p) in the past week alone in the US (PA)

There are several reasons for the surge in prices.

Americans typically drive more starting around Memorial Day at the end of May, so demand is up.

Global oil prices are rising, compounded by sanctions against Russia, a leading oil producer, because of its war against Ukraine.

In addition, there are limits on refining capacity in the United States because some refineries shut down during the pandemic.

TRANSPORT Fuel
(PA Graphics)

The combined result is seeing the cost of filling up surging, draining money from Americans who are facing the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.

California has the highest average price, at 6.43 US dollars (£5.33), according to AAA. The lowest average is Mississippi, at 4.52 US dollars (£3.66).

While this is the first time the average price has broken the 5 dollar barrier, it is still not a record when inflation is taken into account.

Gas peaked at 4.11 US dollars (£3.33) a gallon in July 2008, which would be equal to about 5.40 US dollars (£4.38) a gallon today.