Motorists hitting the road to take advantage of relaxed coronavirus restrictions and warmer weather are being stung by petrol prices reaching a high of nearly two years.
A litre of the fuel costs an average of £1.28 at UK forecourts, Government figures show.
It has not been that expensive since August 2019, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
Diesel costs an average of £1.32 per litre, which is an amount not seen since January 2020.
Fuel sank to as low as £1.05 per litre of petrol and £1.12 per litre of diesel in May 2020, when the global shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic led to a collapse in the value of oil.
The cost of filling up a typical 55-litre petrol family car has since risen by around £13, while a full tank of diesel is approximately £11 more.
Most motorists were unable to take advantage of the low prices in spring last year due to travel restrictions, and are now being hit in the wallet now pandemic measures have been eased.
Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman, said: “Oil prices rising back above 70 US dollars a barrel casts a shadow over staycation travel, with petrol prices at their highest for 20 months.
“The speed of the price rises at a time when drivers are beginning to travel much longer distances is a post-lockdown shock for many.”
Mr Bosdet added that some motorways service stations offer “better fuel prices” than others, such as at Magor, Monmouthshire on the M4; Tiverton and Cullompton, both in Devon on the M5; Frankley, Birmingham, also on the M5; and Lancaster on the M6 in Lancashire.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said drivers are “having to endure relentless pump price increases”.
He described the timing as “pretty frustrating”, due to the rise in leisure trips.
“It doesn’t need to be this way,” Mr Williams insisted. “Given that wholesale petrol prices show there is scope for a 2p cut in prices, retailers really shouldn’t be increasing them.
“Diesel drivers have good reason to feel particularly aggrieved too as the wholesale price is very similar to that of petrol.
“Sadly, it looks as though many retailers are now taking a bigger margin than ever with every litre of fuel they’re selling, meaning drivers’ cash isn’t going as far each time they visit the forecourt.”