‘Our study shows the real impact of record pump prices,' said AA president Edmund King. ‘The full impact of higher VAT, unbridled market speculation and a weaker pound on fuel prices and drivers' ability to afford them have been laid bare.'
Compared with the same period in 2008, service stations saw a 15.2 per cent dip in petrol sales and a six per cent fall in diesel in the three months to March.
That equates to a £637.8million hit to the treasury in lost taxes.
Last month, a litre of unleaded petrol stood at a record high of 136.1p, diesel 139.9p and super unleaded at 143.4p.
To fill up a 50l tank of fuel with ordinary unleaded petrol now costs £68.
An estimated 1.3million motorists have given up driving in the past year because of rising costs.
But with the average annual fuel bill now £1,720