The average price of petrol at the pumps has reached the 140p-per-litre mark again, the AA has said today.

Diesel is now on average 146.38p a litre, but both diesel and petrol prices are short of the all-time highs reached last year (see our Cheap Petrol and Diesel guide for how to drive down costs).

Since the beginning of this year, petrol has risen around 8p a litre and diesel has gone up 6.5p.

Regionally, the cheapest petrol is currently in northern England and in Yorkshire and Humberside, with both regions averaging 139.3p a litre.

Northern Ireland is the most expensive at 141.1p – substantially more than the next dearest in the south-east of England, at 140.5p.

At 147.1p a litre, south east England is also the most expensive for diesel. Yorkshire and Humberside is the cheapest at 145.7p.

However, earlier this week some respite was provided for motorists when the big four supermarkets cut prices at their pumps (see the Petrol prices cut by Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco MSE News story).

There are also reports Chancellor George Osborne will scrap this autumn's planned fuel duty rise during next week's Budget.

AA president Edmund King said "financial chaos and uncertainty" in the wholesale price of fuel meant the cost of a tank of petrol had temporarily soared and fallen £5 on three occasions in the past year.