If you鈥檝e noticed you鈥檙e paying more at the pumps lately, that鈥檚 because the cost of petrol is the highest it鈥檚 been in two years.

On average, a litre of petrol is now £1.17 - the highest since December 2014 - while diesel is £1.20 - a figure not seen for 18 months.

That makes the cost of a tank fuel around £10 more than it was a year ago.

It鈥檚 depressing news for motorists, but there are a few things you can do to pay a little less at the pumps.

Why has the price of fuel gone up again?

The increase follows a 24% rise in the price of oil, from 45 US dollars (£37) in mid-November, to 56 US dollars (£46) by the end of December.

This was the result of a deal made in November between major oil producers like Opec, to try and reduce output.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: "For the 17 million people or so who commute by car the return to work will have come with a nasty surprise. With pump prices up again, the cost of an average tank of fuel is around £10 more today than it was a year ago.?/p>

Where is the cheapest fuel in Liverpool?

The website PetrolPrices allows you to search for the cheapest fuel in your local area. As of today, January 5, 2017, the cheapest within a five mile radius of Liverpool were:

Petrol

Asda Walton, 109.7p

Sainsbury鈥檚 Rice Lane, 110.9p

Asda Bootle Orrell Lane, 111.7p

Sainsbury鈥檚 East Prescot Road, 111.9p

Asda Smithdown Road, 111.2p

Shop around to get the best price
Shop around to get the best price

Diesel

Asda Walton, 111.7p

Sainsbury鈥檚 Rice Lane, 112.9p

Sainsbury鈥檚 East Prescot Road, 113.9

Tesco Litherland, 113.9

Asda Smithdown Road, 114.7

What can you do to cut fuel costs?

1. Shop around for the best price

The nearest might be convenient, but is there a cheaper petrol station on one of your journeys? Use websites like PetrolPrices to find the cheapest on your route.

2. Collect loyalty points

Most supermarkets and garages offer rewards points on fuel. These can quickly add up and you can use them to take money off future spends at the pumps.

3. Don鈥檛 leave it too late to fill up

Running on barely any fuel is bad for the car, but it also means you will need to panic buy when you鈥檙e down to your last few miles - and the nearest petrol station could be a more expensive one. Make the effort to fill up at a cheaper site, as soon as your light comes on.

4. Earn cash back at the pumps

Cash back credit cards pay you whenever you spend. If you鈥檙e good with money and know you can trust yourself to pay off your bill each month, consider taking out a cash back card to buy fuel on. The best thing to do is set up a direct debit to make sure you never miss a payment on your credit card.

5. Car share when possible

Peter Kay and Sian Gibson in Peter Kay's Car Share

Some companies offer incentives to employees who car share, and it will cut your fuel bill if you split the cost between you. You can even use websites like Liftshare, to find people making a similar journey.

Whenever you鈥檙e going out have a think about whether you can get a lift with, or offer a lift to someone else. It鈥檚 better for the environment too.

6. Be patient on the road

Sudden bursts in acceleration burn fuel more quickly, so don鈥檛 speed up for the sake of it. Take your time and you will benefit at the pumps.

7. Remove heavy items from your car

The more weight your car has to move around, the more fuel it uses. If you鈥檝e got bulky items in the boot, store them somewhere unless you need them on that particular journey.

8. Keep your windows closed when driving

Not something you probably need to think about at this time of year, but good to remember in the summer months. Driving with the windows open increase the 鈥榙rag鈥?on the car, making it consume more fuel. Keep them closed when possible, especially when driving at fast speeds.

9. Drive carefully in rush hour

Boring and costly
Boring and costly

Being stuck in traffic is costly because your car guzzles a lot of fuel every time you pull off in first gear. If you can鈥檛 avoid driving in rush hour, try to keep nice and steady and avoid braking and accelerating suddenly.

10. Ditch the roof rack

Another device that affects the car鈥檚 aerodynamics, and therefore increases fuel consumption, roof racks are handy for transporting big items, but should be removed when not being used.

11. Avoid using the air con

Another gas guzzler, make sure you only use this when really necessary. Pick up an inexpensive sun reflector to help keep the temperature inside the car cooler in the summer, which will help you use less air con.

12. Plan your trips carefully

Every time you start your car, it uses fuel to heat the engine up. Therefore, it鈥檚 not surprising that the more trips you make, the more fuel you use. Making small changes like nipping to the shops on your way home from work, rather than going out again later in the day, can make a difference.

13. Make sure your tyre pressure is correct

Too low and you car will use more fuel. Make an effort to check them once a month when you fill up on fuel, to ensure they are at the right level.