Filling station pumpsThe latest AA fuel price reports shows that fuel prices went up 3p a litre in April 2015 alone – and they’ve risen 10p a litre since February.

It means the average tankful now costs £5 more than it did just three months ago… and AA experts believe this is what’s caused a significant reduction in overall petrol consumption.

Filling station sales were actually up 4.5% in February, but are now down by 1%. Petrol consumption in the UK has never been lower.

AA President Edmund king said the increases were, frustratingly, artificial. “Despite negative inflation in April, warning signals coming from the EU and the United States indicate that the $20-a-barrel leap in the price of oil since the beginning of the year is once again influencing the car-use and fuel-buying behaviour of drivers.

“Once again, this will be down to commodity market speculation pushing up oil and wholesale prices artificially – particularly infuriating for drivers and business when data from OPEC and the International Energy Agency show the world has been pumping 1.5 million more barrels of oil per day than it consumes.”

Pump prices still lower than 2014

Still, it could be worse for motorists; we could still be back in May 2014, when petrol averaged 130p a litre and diesel cost 136p. “Car-dependent families should be feeling much better off,” said King.

Talking about the reduction in car usage, King said that “a 10p-a-litre hike since February echoes the price spikes of 2012 and 2013 and UK drivers may have responded as they have in the past by cutting back on car use.

“However, if official fuel consumption and retail sales figures for April reinforce a worsening picture, it will show a more sustained driver backlash to rising forecourt prices.”

Or could it simply mean that Brits are buying more fuel-efficient cars than ever?

What are the top 10 most economical cars on sale?