PETROL prices soared by a ‘hellish’ 6p a litre last month, the RAC has said.

The average price of unleaded petrol rose from 123.4p to 129.41p a litre, increasing the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car to £71.18.

The average price of diesel saw a rise from 126.27p to 132.39p – the second worst rise since the start of 2000.

And for family cars running on diesel, filling them up became £3.37 more expensive during May.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "May was a hellish month for motorists.

"Sadly, they have been besieged by pump price rises for three months with nearly 9p a litre being added to petrol since the beginning of March.

"The rising oil price together with a weaker pound is a punitive combination for anyone that drives regularly.

"For many people there is little alternative to the car for the majority of journeys they have to make, so it is therefore very difficult to avoid feeling the pinch of rising pump prices."