Experts said the 3.4p per litre rise in average pump prices to 105p was a result of oil reaching 40 US dollars a barrel for the first time since early December.
The report by the RAC found around £1.84 was added to the cost of filling up an average 55-litre car with unleaded.
Diesel forecourt prices increased by 3.7ppl to 105p despite the wholesale price only rising by 1.5p, according to the motoring organisation’s analysis.
The RAC claimed this indicates that retailers are either using the lower diesel wholesale cost to subsidise the price of petrol or using it as a means of increasing their profit margin.
Simon Williams, the firm’s fuel spokesman, said: “The good times for motorists enjoying lower fuel prices had to come to an end at some point, but unfortunately it’s happened with a bit more of a bump than motorists were probably expecting.”
He warned there could be further bad news for motorists when oil producers meet later this month to discuss limiting their output, although he does not believe prices will reach 60 US dollars a barrel in the short-term.
“It looks as though we are heading towards a new norm of the oil price fluctuating between lower and upper limits of 35 US dollars and 55 US dollars a barrel,” he said.
“This means motorists should hopefully not see the eye-watering prices they were paying at the pumps in April 2012 when the average price of petrol was 142p and diesel was close to 150p per litre.”