The AA reckons the government’s call on the industry to implement petrol and diesel price transparency will help stop its 15 million members and other motorists ’being taken for fuels’.

The Transport Secretary has called on fuel retailers to set up a transparency register and Code of Practice so consumers can monitor the daily petrol or diesel prices. If the industry does not respond positively to this proposal then legislation will be introduced.

The AA believes that this should result in major drops in the wholesale price of fuel being reflected more evenly across the country and more quickly at the pumps.

The AA said motorists have long suspected that global increases in oil prices are quickly reflected in the pump price whereas drops in price take much longer to filter through. It hopes the government’s intervention will stop motorists from being taken for an expensive ride.

AA president Edmund King said: "Over the past seven years we have asked governments to act against the blurred world of UK pump prices, which every driver knows shoot up like a rocket and fall like a feather. MPs have joined the chorus of complaints against postcode lottery pricing where some towns charge up to 5ppl more for their cheapest petrol compared to another town down the road. Yet, nothing happened.

"At last, we have a Transport Secretary who is prepared to act to win a better deal on fuel prices for consumers."

King went on: "The German government has announced a move towards fuel price regulation. The Austrians have already implemented regulation and, even with a weaker euro, their pre-tax petrol prices remain cheaper than the UK’s."