Tauranga drivers are being hit in the pocket by prices rises at the pump - although savings of almost 20 cents a litre can be made by shopping around.

The average price of 91 octane at six different petrol stations in Tauranga yesterday was $1.977 per litre, with Gull on Fraser St the cheapest at $1.847 a litre and Z Energy on Cameron Rd the most expensive at $2.029 a litre.

Satinder Singh always fuelled up at the Gull Station on Fraser St because it was "normally the cheapest price around".

At 2.35pm yesterday, 91 octane was $1.847 per litre at the petrol station in Merivale.

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"With rising petrol prices your average person will be finding it very hard to fill up."

Singh was fuelling up before heading to Auckland and said he made the trip to the Gull station because if he went to another petrol station on Cameron Rd it was likely he would have to pay "much more".

AA petrol price spokesman Mark Stockdale said the national price for 91 octane was the highest the country had seen since July 2015, at $2.13 per litre.

Stockdale said the reason was a combination of rising international commodity prices and a drop in the New Zealand dollar.

"So that's a double whammy and we've seen it go up 10 cents."

Stockdale said it was the "strong price competition" in Tauranga that kept some petrol prices under the $2 mark.

Gull New Zealand general manager Dave Bodger said Gull's Bay of Plenty stores generally set the standard for low prices.

"We always look to get the best value. We have been around 17 years and that has been our company mantra."

Bodger said the company tried to keep petrol costs down as often as it could.

"We believe in giving value and they [our customers] give us their custom."

He said the Fraser St business was a small site that was not operated by full-time staff.

"That enables us to pass our savings on to our customers."

In statements both BP and Z Energy blamed the recent price increases on global commodity prices and the exchange rate.

"The price of Brent crude oil - which is the New Zealand crude oil benchmark - on global markets is at a two-and-a-half year high," Z Energy spokesman Jonathon Hill said.