Hard-pressed motorists received some unexpected pre-Christmas cheer when two supermarkets announced cuts in the price of their fuel.

Tesco said it would be reducing the cost of its petrol by up to 3p a litre from today.

It was followed swiftly by Asda, which said it was cutting its petrol by 2p a litre, with the reduction also taking effect from the same time.

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Asda said its new pricing would mean motorists would pay no more than 129.7p a litre for petrol, with diesel costing 137.7p.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "Every penny off fuel makes a difference for motorists.

"This will help make it a little more affordable for families to travel to spend time together this Christmas."