Petrol prices could reach a record high of £1.20 a litre in the coming weeks, according to the AA.
The big hike in prices has been blamed on increases in the wholesale price of fuel since January.
Darling urged to postpone duty increase
Chancellor Alistair Darling has been urged to shelve a planned 3p a litre rise in fuel duty that's due to come in on April 1.
With the average price for a litre unleaded petrol currently at just over £1.15, next month's duty rise could push the cost at the pump to £1.20 – equivalent to £5.40 a gallon.
Families pay £50 extra a month
Figures from the AA reveal that the average petrol bill for a two-car family has shot up by £52 a month over the past year, to £245 a month.
The AA's president, Edmund King, said: ' The UK is barely out of recession, yet petrol prices threaten to rise to record prices seen during the boom of 2008 - shortly before the collapse into recession.
'If families, drivers on fixed incomes and those on low pay were unable to cope with record prices then, they are even less likely to do so now.'
Petrol prices are a 'complete disgrace'
While the wholesale price of oil has increased over recent months – it is currently around $80 a barrel – it is nowhere near 2008's record highs of $147, the last time that fuel prices nudged £1.20 a litre – and just before the economy crashed into recession.
Lindsay Hoyle, Labour MP on the House of Commons business committee, said: 'Crude oil has gone up this year, but nothing like the rise in petrol prices. Motorists are being legally mugged at the forecourt by petrol companies.
He called the price a 'complete disgrace'.
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