While petrol prices hit record levels in New Zealand Whanganui remains one of the cheaper places in the country to top up the car.

Unleaded 91 hit the $2.30 mark for the first time on Tuesday in some parts of the country but on the same day Whanganui prices sat around $2.04 - $2.05.

In a survey of the country's petrol stations by NZME staff only stations in Levin, Taupo, New Plymouth and Rotorua were selling it cheaper while Whanganui had the cheapest Z and Caltex stations of those surveyed.

The unscientific survey received more than 100 responses and showed 91 octane prices varied; from as cheap as $1.93 or as expensive as $2.29.


However, head to Great Barrier Island and the Chatham Islands and the price is more than $3 a litre.

Consumer New Zealand says record high petrol prices could backfire on fuel companies if nothing is done to bring them down and the Automobile Association (AA) is urging the Government to cut 10c of tax off the price per litre immediately.

The NZME survey followed confirmation from AA figures that showed the price of 91 has risen by nearly 20c a litre since January, when it was $2.12 a litre.

Oil prices spiked to their highest level since 2014 last week.

That's a 25 per cent rise since its most recent low in February and a rise of about 90 per cent since the price hit rock bottom in January 2016.

Oil prices crashed in 2014, plunging from $144 a barrel to a low of just above $57.

Before the global financial crisis they had traded as high as $193 per barrel.