Petrol sales in November were the highest for a single month in more than four years, but overall sales for the year are down, according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs.

Unleaded petrol volume reached 1.515 billion litres in November, making it the highest monthly demand since 1.563 billion litres was sold in August 2014.

But figures for January to November show petrol demand down by 1.2%, from 15.412 billion litres in 2017 to 15.233 last year, while demand for diesel rose slightly from 27.720 to 27.904 billion litres.

The AA suggested that the increased demand in November was caused by lower prices, but warned that rising oil prices mean wholesale prices are on the increasew.

The wholesale price of petrol rose from 30.3ppl between Christmas and the New Year to 33.2p last week, and the cost of diesel has gone up from 36.2ppl during the festive period to 40.8ppl last week and 41.3ppl on Monday.

Comparing current pump prices by brand, the AA said oil company sites were conceding more of recent wholesale savings to their customers, with Jet standing out by cutting its average below 120ppl.

However, it was critical of the growing average price gap between the cheapest and most expensive supermarkets, which has more than doubled from 1.7ppl a year ago to 3.6ppl.