The RAC has played down the likelihood of significant increases in pump prices despite fears that the price of oil is about to go back above $50 for the first time since mid-October 2015.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The oil price has been on an upward path for the last few weeks due to several major global supply disruptions and reports that the US crude stockpile was at last diminishing. This was thought to be a signal that the supply glut which has given us cheaper fuel prices was coming to an end.

“However, the latest news is that 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 and as a result we expect fuel prices to be kept in check for the UK’s 30 million car drivers.

“It will be very interesting to see where both oil and pump prices finish at the end of May, especially if supply stability is restored.

“The other factor that should not be forgotten is that if oil were to stay around the $50 mark for too long the US will resume its oil production from fracking. OPEC (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) does not want to see this happening so there is likely to be a renewed focus on increasing production to deflate the oil price.”