Motorists in southern towns and cities pay up to £1.98 more to fill up their cars compared with those in northern England and Scotland.
Land is more expensive in the south of England! Film at 11!
The AA said the findings showed motorists were hostage to whatever prices retailers decided to charge.
"The South East is the most populated part of the country with the highest density of petrol stations and yet it is one of the most expensive regions for petrol, which suggests pricing isn\’t as competitive as you would expect."
See the clue in "most populated"?
Some retailers admitted that they knowingly sold customers more expensive petrol in certain parts of the country than others.
A spokesman for BP said it set petrol prices to compete "on local market conditions".
Tesco, one of Britain\’s largest petrol retailers, said that it did not have a set national price.
A spokesman said: "Our clear goal for customers is to endeavour to be competitive on petrol and diesel in the local catchments area for each store."
Quite. If costs vary across the country, and if also people do not drive from Leeds to London (or vice versa) just to fill up, then we\’ve got not a national market but a series of local ones which each reflect their own costs structures and the local supply and demand.
And the surprise is?