By Natalie Marchant
Petrol prices remain "stubbornly above" 130p a litre despite some motorists paying 128p a litre in some areas, the AA has said.
The average price for petrol across the country is 130.46p, the motoring association reported, which is in comparison to an average of 131.7p a litre in mid-December.
Meanwhile average diesel prices have dropped from 138.61p a litre in the middle of last month, to 138.24p now.
Year-on-year, petrol prices are more than 2p lower and diesel almost 2p down on the start of 2013.
Oil price fluctuation
In the middle of January 2013, petrol was 132.71p on average and diesel stood at 140.23p.
The AA blamed market factors including disrupted oil supply from Libya for creating enough oil price fluctuation to stop the average price of petrol in the UK dropping beneath 130p a litre, for the first time since February 2011.
The deluge of bad weather and flooding last month were also thought to have affected pump sales volumes and scuppered chances of beating a recent low of 130.13p a litre, which was recorded in mid November.
At a regional level, pump prices in London have improved markedly compared to other areas - down 1.2p for petrol and 0.8p for diesel - over the past month.
This makes London and northern England the cheapest places in the UK for petrol - averaging 130.1p a litre. The capital also has the cheapest diesel, at 137.9p a litre.
Highest petrol prices in Northern Ireland and Wales
The highest petrol prices in the UK were found in Northern Ireland and Wales, where motorists have to fork out 130.p a litre, while diesel prices were highest in Scotland at 139.1p.
AA president Edmund King said: "Lower pump prices mean that the affordability of petrol and diesel has improved significantly for the better-off.
"In January 2012, 65 per cent of drivers in professional and senior management jobs were cutting back because of high pump prices. This has now fallen back to 52 per cent.
"Having come so close to seeing the average UK petrol price dip below 130p a litre in the past two months, reaching it is becoming something of a holy grail.
"But it can be achieved, and probably more."