The cost of fuel is expected to keep rising. / SALVADOR SALAS / VIDEO: ATLAS

Fuel prices reach record highs because of the war in Ukraine

Prices have already risen by about 25 céntimos per litre in Malaga province since the Russian invasion and it is expected to become even more expensive. In just one month it now costs around 12.50 euros more to fill a 50-litre tank

MATÍAS STUBER Malaga

The war in Ukraine is starting to hit the wallets of drivers in Malaga province. It was already one of the most expensive places in Spain to fill up, but now prices are at a level never seen before and are going up on almost a daily basis.

In the month from 8 February, just before the Russian invasion, diesel A, the most-used fuel in the province, went up by 25 cents per litre to an average of 1.723 euros, an increase of 17 per cent. It cost 12.50 euros more to fill a 50-litre tank, in just one month.

Diesel has become comparatively more expensive than petrol but is still cheaper to use, as the average cost of 95-octane is now 1.803 euros, which is 21 céntimos more per litre and a rise of 13 per cent. That means that filling with 95-octane petrol will cost 10.40 euros more than it did 30 days earlier.

This is the first time ever that fuel has risen to nearly two euros per litre, a psychological barrier which the sector says is almost certain to be broken through very soon.

There are differences, depending on where you are: on Wednesday a filling station in Antequera was selling diesel at 1.99 euros per litre, while the cheapest was in Marbella, at 1.499.

The most expensive 95-octane petrol was in Pizarra (1.916) and Marbella (1.914), while the cheapest could be found in Mollina and Marbella, at 1.596.

Malaga city has its own idiosyncracies when it comes to fuel, because there is little competition from low-cost companies. The cheapest diesel was at Petroprix, at 1.659, and the most expensive was Galp, where it cost 1.919.

Petrol in Malaga was cheapest at Petroprix (1.759) and most expensive at Repsol, Shell and Cepsa, at 1.889.

Petrol stations aren’t happy about high prices either

Contrary to popular belief, filling stations aren’t happy about the high prices either. “Our commercial margin is still very small because we are the last link in the chain,” say sources in the sector. And if fuel prices rise, people use their vehicles less.

“People look for cheaper alternatives, and we are subject to a lot of abuse, which is quite understandable although it is not our fault,” they say.

Perfecto Matas, who runs Gasóleos Malaga, one of the main fuel distributors in the province, says prices are rising so fast – between seven and ten céntimos a day – that the filling stations can hardly keep up with applying the new rates. He also says that if people reduce the use of their vehicles because of the high fuel prices, many filling stations will be at risk of closure. “People are very sensitive about prices. And when fuel becomes very expensive, we can’t apply large margins,” he says.