Motoring organisations are blaming a record high petrol price of 121.26p per litre on oil companies striving to turn bigger profits. However, the oil giants are hitting back by claiming that rising prices are to do with the increasing price of wholesale fuel and oil. The average family car will now cost an average of £60.88 to fill from empty.

British motorists are also about to be hit with another jump in price as VAT is pushed up by 2.5 per cent in the New Year. At the beginning of this year, petrol cost an average of 109.88p per litre. This means that over the last 12 months drivers have witnessed their fuel bills rise by 11.88p per litre. To fill an average sized car now costs an average of £5.94 more than it did this time last year.

President of the AA, Edmund King, said in just one week the price of petrol has rocketed by 1.7p per litre. He added that the woes for drivers had been compounded by the severe weather with many drivers stuck in traffic jams watching their fuel gradually drain away.

He went on to say that if the pound does not strengthen or if the fuel market does not start to return to normal, drivers face an increasingly uncomfortable ride in the New Year.

According to Adrian Tink, a strategist with the RAC, it is possible that on 5 January next year motorists will be paying 125p per litre. He added that it was extraordinary to realise that in just one year the price of petrol had soared by around 13p per litre.