Motorists are cutting back on car use because of fuel price increases, according to the AA.

In its monthly Fuel Price Report it says average UK petrol prices have reached a six-month high after climbing above 117ppl for the first time since mid December.

The motoring organisation said AA-Populus research shows that 37% of 28,080 AA members have already started to cut back on car use – increasing to 48% among lower-income motorists.

Petrol, on average, costs 117.19ppl, up from 116.42ppl a month ago. Diesel averages 121.00ppl, up from 120.70ppl in mid May. The AA commented: “Although the diesel pump price increase looks small, the fuel’s cost to the trade has been less than petrol’s for a month – representing a 3ppl, or more than 3%, extra mark-up at the pump before VAT.”

Looking ahead to the Chancellor’s summer budget on July 8, the AA warned that he may announce future increases in duty, but it pointed out the Government was already receiving more tax per litre due to increased prices

AA president Edmund King commented: “This month’s AA Fuel Price Report illustrates vividly the power of pump prices on consumer spending.

“It sends out a clear message to government on fuel tax: don’t be mistaken into thinking that because pump prices are 13ppl lower than this time last year that drivers are ripe for another fuel duty increase. It won’t mean so much to some wealthier drivers, 28% of whom say high fuel prices don’t affect them, but up to 87% of less well-off drivers say it does.

“Since the war, governments have ratcheted up motoring taxes so much that 10% of the UK’s entire tax-take comes from drivers. Fuel duty is not a means-related tax but a mileage-related one, which discriminates against poorer drivers.”