Though Chancellor George Osborne has cancelled an upcoming 3p hike in fuel duty the price to fill up has increased +5.5% in the last two months alone, claims a new survey. In pounds and pence, that's close to a £4.50 climb to refuel a Ford Focus.

But there are stark price differences around the UK. Where's now cheapest to fill up?


Devon vs Dumfries & Galloway

According to Santander's new 123 Card Fuel Survey, Torquay is the cheapest place in the UK to buy petrol at an average price of £1.35 per litre, or £95.13 for a full tank it claims. In contrast, Dumfries is the priciest place to fill up.

Prices in the south-west of Scotland averaged £1.45 per litre found the survey. So owners of vehicles with a 70-litre tank would pay £102.13 to fill up. Drivers of family vehicles in Durham should also expect to pay over £100 to fill their tanks, at an average of £100.03 says Santander.

The biggest increases since January have been seen in Paisley, Durham and Hereford, where motorists pay +9% more for unleaded fuel than just two months ago.

Supermarket muscle

Why such big regional differences? It's a combination of first, geography, and second, the presence of supermarkets, AA head of public affairs, Paul Watters, told AOL Money.

"There are quirks of the type of filing station arrangements that exist in some areas. Sometimes the higher priced ones are small rural filling stations where they have to sell higher to stay afloat and viable. The lower ones tended to be affected by pressure on prices with supermarket dominance.

Watters goes on: "The Torbay area is a densely populated area. The AA doesn't do prices by town, it does prices by region. Our cheapest region is normally the North West. We don't normally find the south-west the cheapest."

Irritating - and expensive

What's irritating says Watters is where neighbouring towns have huge price variances. "There are numerous examples, for example, Newbury and Reading [Newbury is cheaper]. There can be up to 5p a litre difference."

Santander commissioned this fuel survey to push its 123 Credit Card which offers 3% cashback on fuel at UK petrol stations, plus +1% spent at supermarkets. If you're tempted, bear in mind it has a £24 annual fee - unusual for a cashback card.


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