Petrol prices are equalling a record high at 222.9c a litre for 91-octane at non-discounting service stations.
That follows 4c general price rises by the main oil companies for both petrol and diesel, which the Automobile Association says is unjustified so hard on the heels of a 3c tax rise on Monday.
Spokesman Mark Stockdale said the overall effect of the 7c increase in under three days was ``a bad look``for the oil companies, and there had been no further softening of the exchange rate or rise in import prices in the past fortnight to justify it.
However, he described the outlook for motorists as generally "gloomy", given a longer-term downward trend in the value of the Kiwi dollar and political instability in the Middle East.
BP spokesman Jonty Mills said the two prices rises were entirely separate, the first being a Government-imposed increase and the other simply being a response to market conditions, which had seen a decrease in the dollar value and higher import costs since the previous retail hikes in early June.
Petrol prices are now equal to a record set in August last year, and diesel is up at 153.9c a litre, on top of a 10 per cent increase on Monday in road user charges which is collected separately from at the pumps.