Top motoring organisation reckons that drivers are paying up to 6p per litre too much.

World oil prices dropped yesterday to below $100 a barrel – the cheapest they’ve been since March. However, the Automobile Association says pump prices are too high. To match what they were last time oil cost what it ds now, petrol needs to be 4p per litre cheaper while diesel should be 6p per litre.

Back in the summer, oil reached a $147 per barrel high and within weeks pump prices soared to £1.20 per litre for petrol and £1.34 for diesel. Since then, worsening economic conditions have meant that demand for fuel has been lower than predicted, triggering a series of price drops. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike sparked rises because it was feared that they might damage refineries or delivery pipework but prices continued downwards once the threat passed.

Petrol retailers say that changes in the world oil price take about six weeks to reach pump prices . So what you pay now – typically £1.12 per litre for petrol and £1.24 for diesel – should fall further.

The AA says, even allowing for the time lag, drivers appeared to be being ‘ripped off’. Oil companies appeared to be ‘dragging their feet’ said the motoring organisation.