Drivers have forked out more to fill up during this year than last, according to figures from the AA.

Based on the full 12 months, prices averaged 136.4p a litre for petrol and 142.5p for diesel.

This compares with last year's petrol average of 133.6p a litre and diesel average of 138.9p.
On average, UK drivers paid almost £1.50 more to fill a tank at every garage visit this year than last year, with diesel tank-filling up £1.75, the AA said.

The average motorist filling up their car once a fortnight would have spent an extra £39 on petrol and £45.50 on diesel.

The mid-December average fuel price was 132.3p a litre, almost exactly the price charged at the beginning of the year and 2.7p cheaper than the mid-November average.

Diesel, 140.5p a litre at the start of the year, averaged 140.4p in mid-December compared with 141.9p in mid-November.

Indicating just how much motorists are now having to fork out, the average price of a litre of petrol throughout 2009 was £1 and diesel was 104.4p, although drivers complained at the time of fuel exceeding the £1-a-litre mark.

The AA highlighted a recent EU consumer survey in which only people in Italy gave petrol retailers a poorer score than those in the UK.

AA president Edmund King said: "The fact that petrol prices are back to where they were at the beginning of the year may bring some seasonal cheer, but over the last year petrol prices have been 2.75p more expensive than the previous year.

"Supermarkets generally dictate the cost of fuel in towns, with other retailers setting theirs accordingly and creating a localised price jam. Petrol in towns with less competitive supermarkets is as much as 5p more expensive than neighbouring communities.

"It is these £1.50, £2 or £2.50-a-tank surcharges for petrol across whole towns that have triggered such fierce criticism of the UK's fuel retailers in the EU survey."