Petrol prices have soared to an all-time high, it was revealed today.

The average price of a litre of unleaded at the pumps is now 120p, eclipsing the previous peak of 119.7p reached in July 2008, motoring giant, the RAC, said.

"This is a dark day for motorists," says RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink (see the Cheap Petrol & Diesel guide).

The new record comes just days after the Government raised fuel duty by 1p a litre. A further 1p rise is due in the autumn, with a 0.76p increase planned for next January.

The RAC said the hike in costs had been caused by a combination of factors. Primarily, the weak pound and the increase in the wholesale price of fuel had produced a steady rise since the beginning of the year.

Also, tax rises since December 2008 have added around 10p to the cost of a litre of fuel.

How to slash fuel costs

Joint research has found you could cut fuel bills by up to 60% by following some simple steps.

That equates to a 1,500 a year saving for a household that spends 2,500 a year on petrol or diesel.

Here are our tips for drivers:

  • Look for cheap petrol promotions, particularly in supermarkets. The Cheap Petrol & Diesel guide is updated when promotions are announced.
  • Use to find the cheapest local filling station.
  • Accelerate and brake gently.
  • Turn off the air conditioning.
  • Keep your car aerodynamic by ensuring it is clean and free of its roofrack, unless in use.
  • Keep tyres properly inflated.
  • De-clutter your car to make it lighter.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

Further reading/Key links

Drive down fuel costs: Cheap Petrol & Diesel
Find cheap filling stations: