The price of petrol at the pumps has soared to a record high, the AA said today.
The average price is now 121.76p a litre, overtaking the previous record figure of 121.61p reached on May 12 this year.
Average diesel prices are now 125.73p a litre - still short of the July 2008 record of 133.25p.
Petrol is now 11.88p more expensive than it was at the beginning of this year, with motorists having to pay almost £6 more to fill an average tank.
The extra monthly cost of petrol for a two-car family is £25.23, compared with the start of this year.
AA president Edmund King said: "In the past week, we have seen the average price of petrol shoot up 1.7p a litre across the UK and diesel rise 1.61p.
"It comes at a particularly bad time for drivers who have struggled with appalling winter weather and often seen their fuel drain away while stuck in snow-bound traffic jams."
He went on: "Although the wholesale price of petrol has risen sharply in the past fortnight, there is a growing feeling of helplessness among drivers with winter travel disruption and ever-rising fuel costs. If current prices persist, the new year increase in fuel duty and VAT will push petrol prices up to 124p a litre.
"Our only hope is that either oil and fuel markets settle back down or the pound strengthens against the dollar. Until then, it is an even more uncomfortable ride for families trying to keep their cars on the road."
RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "It's unbelievable to think that, compared with this time last year, petrol is 13p a litre more expensive. That's over £7 more every time you fill up an average tank."
He went on: "While the increases this year have been driven by a number of factors, you can't get away from the fact that we have seen five rises in fuel duty in the past two years - and we're due another one in January, plus a VAT rise.
"Who knows what the price will be come January 5 2011? An average of 125p per litre is very feasible.
"These increases hit everyone, but it's the families, small businesses and those in rural areas who get hit hardest.
"If the Government is serious about ending the war on motorists, then for the large majority of drivers that starts at the petrol pumps.
"January's rise must be cancelled, and the overall issue of the price of petrol in this country needs looking at urgently."Reuse content