The RMI Petrol Retailers Association has warned that the price of filling a tank is to rise 'significantly' in 2010.
RMI, which represents petrol retailers and forecourt operators, said this has nothing to do with oil prices or speculators but will come from anticipated tax increases in the coming months. It could add up to 15p to the price of a litre.
"The first hit was on 2nd January when VAT returned to its original 17.5% – up from the 'holiday' rate of 15%," said Jeff Taylor of the Economic Voice.
"Then, in April, fuel duty is set to go up in line with inflation but with the addition of an extra 1p for every litre due to the reintroduced fuel duty 'escalator' designed to drive fuel usage down.
"The refiners of biofuel have also had a tax incentive withdrawn which could see a further 1p added to the cost when passed down to business," he commented.
"It has been said that one of the sure signs of a vibrant economy is a high level of traffic as people go about daily business and goods are delivered. But, it looks like the taxman has other plans, but not to appease the green lobby. That empty purse desperately needs refilling," Mr Taylor stated.
Freight Transport Association chief executive, wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, reiterating industry's dismay at the fuel duty increase re-introduced in the pre-Budget report.
The letter calls on the Chancellor to act to support the freight industry through fuel duty decoupling, rather than imposing further burdens on operators with planned duty increases in April 2010.
UK petrol prices that averaged 108.99 on 7 December fell by less than a penny, according to the AA.
However, wholesale petrol prices have fallen by 2p a litre since the start of the month and the cheapest fuel between neighbouring towns can vary by as much as 5p a litre. Crude oil is $75 a barrel.
Unleaded prices have fallen by 0.4p a litre from 108.7p to 108.3p.
Diesel prices have also fallen, by 0.1p a litre from 110.0p to 109.9p. The price difference between unleaded and diesel has risen from 1.3p a litre to 1.6p.
London recorded the highest price for unleaded at 109.2p a litre. The North West recorded the lowest price for unleaded at 107.3p a litre. Northern Ireland recorded the highest diesel price at 110.6p a litre.
The North West and Yorkshire and Humberside have the cheapest diesel at 109.0p a litre. Fuel price data was supplied by Experian Catalist in co-operation with Arval UK.
Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire would like to see a continued drop in fuel prices not another increase.