The RMI Independent Petrol Retailers Association is predicting a rise of between 5p and 10p a litre in the cost of fuel by the end of 2010.

The Petrol Retailers Association believes this year’s return to VAT at 17.5%, the fuel duty escalator, biofuel incentive reductions and likely further taxation rises due to Government wanting to recover more money to replay the national debt following the recession.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the RMI Independent Petrol Retailers Association, said: “2009 has been a tough year for consumers and we are now looking at an even tougher year ahead. The predicted 10ppl rise does not take into consideration any increase in the world oil price which is also a possibility and could add another 3ppl to 5ppl to forecourt inflation. With pump prices averaging 108ppl for unleaded and 110ppl for diesel in the lead up to Christmas, we might well see pump prices in the second half of 2010 in the range 120 to 125ppl; setting record highs.

“It is going to be a tough year for both consumers and independent petrol retailers in 2010 and both are really going to feel the squeeze.

“Brace yourselves for higher fuel costs ahead.”