AVERAGE UK petrol pump prices have soared by 5p a litre within weeks for the third time in less than a year, the AA said today.
Britain’s biggest motoring group said pump prices reached an average of 137.08p yesterday - up from 132.01p in mid January.
It follows similar surges last March and October.
The AA said the latest increase had added £2.50 to the cost of filling a typical 50-litre tank, with two-car families now spending £10.62 a month more on petrol than at the turn of the year.
It blamed the rise on the weaker pound against the dollar - used for oil trading - along with refinery price hikes and and market speculation.
The motoring organisation said diesel prices had also edged up, from 140p a litre last month to 143.96p yesterday.
AA president Edmund King said: “The previous two petrol price surges ended with wholesale values falling off a cliff as refiners revved up production to maximise earnings and glut the market - while drivers cut back.
“We expect the same, but the damage will have been done to family budgets, consumer spending and the government’s tax-take.”