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Diesel is now on average 146.38p a litre, but both diesel and petrol prices are short of their all-time highs reached last year.

The good news for motorists is that supermarkets have cut the price of fuel this week and there have been reports that Chancellor George Osborne will announce in the Budget that he is scrapping autumn’s planned fuel duty rise.

However, 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 in northern England and in Yorkshire and Humberside, with both areas averaging 139.3p a litre.

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