Petrol prices have been a huge topic of debate in recent years and it’s not good news for the 33million British motorists after prices soared to a new record high on the eve of Christmas.

The average price has risen from last week’s record of 121.76p a litre to 122.14p – which means UK petrol car owners are now spending £8m a day more on fuel than 12 months ago.

The increases mean that, compared with this time last year, the cost of filling an average family car with a 50-litre petrol tank has risen from £54.26 to £61.07. And for a two car family, the monthly cost of petrol has risen from £230.41 a year ago to £259.35.

They will rise even higher in the new year when the duty rise is imposed, as well as the higher rate of VAT, which goes up by 2.5% to 20%. Diesel, which is still some way off its all-time high, has risen 3.12p a litre over the past four weeks and now costs an average 126.19p. A 50-litre tank has risen from £54.93 to £63.10.

AA president Edmund King said: “This is a bleak midwinter for millions of drivers. Two-thirds of drivers are cutting back on journeys, cutting back on other expenditure, or cutting back on both.

“It is the lower-income drivers who suffer first and hardest, and that is why the Government should not add further to their misery by increasing both duty and VAT on fuel in the new year.

“If current prices persist, the new year increase in fuel duty and VAT will push petrol prices up to 124p a litre.”

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