Conflicting predictions about fuel prices have been released with the PRA warning they are set to continue rising into the summer, while the RAC said the upward trend was likely to stabilise. PRA chairman Brian Madderson said the increasing cost of oil, with Brent crude oil having risen 80% since January of this year, was not yet fully reflected in prices at the pumps.

Commenting on reports that Brent Crude Oil was close to $50 per barrel, Madderson said: "It is remarkable that the increase in wholesale fuel prices have not yet fully reflected this year’s fast recovery in crude oil."

UK fuel prices have only risen by 6%, from 102.70ppl to 109.00ppl by mid May.

But RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Reports that the US crude stockpile was at last diminishing was thought to be a signal that the supply glut which has given us cheaper fuel prices was coming to an end. However, US crude supplies have actually increased again rather than shrunk so there is now talk that the market has risen too far, too quickly. This could well help to take some of the heat out of the oil price."