Drivers are being warned that fuel prices will rise steeply in the next six weeks, as refineries struggle to provide enough oil to meet demand.
A Europe-wide shortage of capacity at refineries was further exacerbated by the recent strike at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland and a fire at a Finnish plant.
The warning came after The Office for National Statistics reported that the price of petrol products leaving refineries had risen by 2.3% in a month.
Last week, Goldman Sachs, a US investment bank, said that oil prices threaten to hit $200 a barrel over coming months as producers struggled to keep pace with demand from China and the Middle East.
That would represent a rise of more than 60% from the current level of $125 a barrel.