Yet pressure group FairFuelUK believes speculators, the fuel supply chain and even the Treasury are profiteering out of a crisis as current prices should be up to 14p a litre LOWER, costing drivers an average of nearly £8 extra every time they fill up.
It predicts soaring Brent Crude costs will see pump prices rocket unchecked to £1.60 per litre in a matter of weeks and experts are not discounting £1.80 per litre in months.
The organisation is calling for a PumpWatch monitor — similar to Ofgem in the power industry — to ensure falls in oil prices are fully passed on to motorists at the pumps.
Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK said: "The sickening hold the fuel supply chain has over pump prices is more than perverse, it's tantamount to being criminal.
"Why is Rishi Sunak, and he knows this full well, not acting to check the uncontrolled profiteering that is damaging the economy, the highest taxed drivers in the world and fueling inflation.
"Why is he scared of introducing PumpWatch. Surely it cant be, because of the gargantuan pile of VAT the Treasury gets due to the punishing costs of filling up at the pumps."
Sainsbury's and Morrisons were both asking 150.9p for a litre of unleaded on Monday — 10p more than it was just a month ago — while Tesco was a penny dearer at 151.9.
Prices in Northampton are slightly lower at 146.9p per litre at Sainsbury's Weedon Road garage, according to petrolprices.com, while the cheapest fuel in the county was 144.9p at Kettering.
Drivers in Daventry, where there are no supermarket garages, face paying up to 151.2p per litre for their petrol.
FairFuel UK looked at 2014 when Brent Crude prices were at similar levels to what they are now and found that diesel and petrol is between 10p and 14p higher now.
And because of these punitive pump prices, the government is enjoying a "VAT windfall in excess of £2 billion a year."
MPs have joined calls for action as inflation is already rising and families face massive increases in energy bills from next month.
Tory MP for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay, is chair of the fair fuel all-party parliamentary group.
He said: "It is unjustifiable that motorists continue to be over-charged for their fuel during a period of rapidly rising inflation across the board.
"The cost-of-living crisis is already proving incredibly painful for many and sanity needs be restored to petrol pricing as quickly as possible."