According to the new analysis, petrol prices are being artificially inflated to almost record levels, which are at an all-time high.
The increase in the wholesale cost of diesel is being “loaded on petrol”, the AA said.
Data from Experian Catalyst showed petrol pump prices moved within a fraction of a record 1p on Thursday, reaching 142.16p per litre.
The highest price ever recorded is 142.48p in April 2012. Recent figures show that the average diesel prices on Thursday stood at 145.68p.
AA said the wholesale price hike since the summer has resulted in diesel setting new records, with petrol still nearly 2.5p below its all-time high, the AA said.
Luc Bossdet, a fuel spokesman for the Motoring Organisation, said: “The AA recognizes that there is still turmoil in the fuel business following the panic buying, and this could disrupt diesel contracts.
“It also recognizes that it is basic commerce for a retailer to load more profit on some items than on others.
“But for petrol retailers to say that the increase in petrol prices, and possibly a new record, is completely down to circumstances beyond their control, is simply not true and should be challenged.”
On Wednesday, the Petrol Retailers Association said fuel price records are “almost certain to be eclipsed” before the end of next week.
It stressed that the “primary reason” for this to happen is “the rise and fall in the cost of crude oil”, which has risen more than 50% since January.
It comes after government ministers issued a plea late last month to pacify the public, insisting panic buying was unnecessary as there was no shortage of fuel in the UK. And he was backed by fuel delivery leaders, who said they believed supplies would return to normal within a few days.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) reported that up to 90 percent of its independent members were out of fuel in some areas after oil giant BP said a third of its sites did not have supplies.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /