Petrol prices have risen 27% in a year

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The Independent Online

The average price of petrol is now above the 115p a litre mark, with motorists being hit with a 27 per cent increase over the last 12 months, the RAC said today.

Average pump prices were around 90.7p a litre a year ago, with the cost of filling a tank now around £264 a year more expensive for the average motorist, the RAC added.

It said that alongside the rising wholesale price of fuel, motorists had had to endure three tax rises on petrol in the last 12 months.

In April 2009 there was a 1.84p fuel duty rise followed by a further rise of 2p in September.

Then on January 1 2010, VAT increased by 2.5 per cent, causing a further increase of around 2.5p a litre. To further add to the misery for motorists fuel duty is set to rise on April 1 by inflation plus 1p.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "The tough year for motorists continues unabated with petrol prices constantly spiralling upwards. The extra cost of filling up is making a huge dent in already-stretched family budgets.

"The Government needs to take a close look at the proposed fuel duty rise in April. When this was announced in last year's Budget, petrol prices were well below the £1 a litre mark.

"Now they're heading back towards the record highs of the summer of 2008, helped along the way by the Government's taxation policy. The Government needs to give Britain's motorists a break and cancel the proposed fuel duty rise."

The AA said two-car families were now paying an average of £50 more a month for petrol than a year ago.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters added: "We are edging ever closer to the 119.7p-a-litre all-time record for the UK average price of petrol.

"The strain of higher fuel costs is already hurting business and families and uncomfortable memories of crippling prices in the record summer of 2008 are haunting drivers once again."