Fleet budgets are under pressure from rapidly increasing petrol and diesel pump prices and further rises are on the cards - potentially reaching record levels.

Average UK fuel prices reached a record high in April 2012 when a litre of unleaded petrol cost 142.48p and diesel was 147.93p.

Now the RAC has warned that unleaded petrol could reach 143p a litre with diesel certain to cost a few pence more - up from the current UK average of 128.9p and 131.8p as recorded by website petrolprices.com.

UK pump prices have been on an upward spiral for the last few weeks due to the cost of oil increasing to above $80, combined with a poor pound to dollar exchange rate of $1.33 which negatively affects the cost of fuel on the wholesale market.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The higher oil price has come at a time when the pound has weakened considerably against the dollar. This causes pain at the pumps due to the fact that, similar to oil, fuel is traded in dollars so the lower the exchange rate, the worse the price gets for UK motorists.

“If oil were to rise to $90 a barrel and the pound was to stay at $1.33 the average pump price of unleaded would shoot up to 137p a litre. And if it were to reach $100 a barrel with the current exchange rate we would likely see a new UK petrol high price of 143p a litre. In either scenario the impact on private motorists and businesses in the UK would be substantial.

“The outlook for fuel prices in the weeks ahead is not good. All we can do is hope the international forces which have caused the oil price to rise ease and take the heat out of prices on the forecourt.”