Volatility in the oil market caused by the heightened tension in the Middle East could feed through to the pumps in the shape of higher prices, the RAC has warned. RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: "Increasing tension between Washington and Tehran will cause the oil price to go up as traders worry about availability of supply.

"It also comes at a time when the oil price was already on the rise due a further OPEC production cut and the cooling of the US’s 17-month long trade war with China, which has led to increased demand.

"As things stand, it looks like at least 2ppl will be added to the price of both petrol and diesel in the next two weeks. If the current situation in the Middle East was to escalate however, drivers could be looking at far greater increases at UK forecourts.

"Unfortunately both petrol and diesel have also been subject to an annual EU renewable fuel obligation rise which has led to 1ppl being added from the start of January."

Pump prices had already risen slightly in December, after four consecutive months of falls.