PHH divisional manager- fuel Keith Greenhead said: 'Duty increases only apply to fuel delivered to forecourts after the midnight deadline. This means that pump prices should only go up as a result of the new rate of duty when 'old' stocks run out.
'In the past windfall profits were made by putting up pump prices straight away, but this year it didn't happen because the market is so competitive. Oil companies are waiting for the hypermarkets to apply the increase after which they will all follow suit.' When the increases do come into effect analysts predict fuel prices will reach an all-time high.