Petrol and diesel prices are almost at pre-pandemic levels, despite oil prices lower than they were this time last year.

Petrol on Wednesday averaged 118.91p a litre, up from almost 4p in a month; diesel now costs 122.22p a litre, up 7p over the same period,the AA Fuel Price Report found.

That rise comes as Government statistics show car travel is around 55% of lower than pre-lockdown levels - with road transport in total was down 37%.

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said: “With people driving fewer miles and going to fuel stations less frequently, some will have seen pump prices jump 4p a litre between visits.

"This will come as a shock."

Who's to blame

Why prices have risen
Why prices have risen

The AA said the rise comes following a $5 to $6-a-barrel jump in the price of oil and, with petrol stations wasting little time in passing on the increase.

But that's not enough to cover the size of the rise at the pumps in the past four weeks.

Generally, a $2 change in the price of oil produces a 1p change at the pump, suggesting petrol stations are adding a little extra on top as a "lockdown bonus".

When comparing pump prices across the UK – the most rural parts of the country have petrol averaging 5p a litre less than the most populated areas.

What you can do about it

Where filling up costs the least
Where filling up costs the least

Figures from the AA show you can now run a small electric car almost as cheaply as a petrol one.

And for people living in cities, who might also have to deal with congestion and other charges, the switch is now a ‘no-brainer’ on the cost front.

Lower fuel costs cut at least £1 off the daily cost of a 15-mile round-trip commute, and possibly much more for city drivers spending time in rush-hour traffic where the fossil-fuel car’s fuel consumption shoots up but the electric car’s is unaffected.

“Electric vehicles, offering cheaper, consistent and predictable fuel costs, are now offering a viable alternative," Bosdet said.

"For hundreds of thousands of city drivers facing more daily congestion and city access charges this year, an electric car can work out cheaper than a petrol or diesel one.

"This will jolt the fuel trade as their customers switch.”