The average cost of a litre of petrol in the city stood at £1.80 over the four days to June 14, according to figures from petrolprices.com – up 41% from £1.27 in June last year.
With the average annual mileage of a car driver in the North East being 3,552 miles, it means a driver in Sunderland will spend an average of £808 on filling up with petrol this year – up from £571 based on prices last June.
Diesel drivers doing the same mileage would see their costs rise by 41%, from £501 to £707.
The average trip distance in the area before the pandemic was eight miles – meaning a journey of this length would cost an average of £1.82, compared to £1.29 at the same point last year.
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The RAC Foundation said people on lower incomes are hit hardest by price rises at the pumps as they are unable to switch to electric vehicles and often rely on their cars to get to work with no alternative.
Steve Gooding, director of the Foundation, called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut fuel duty again.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: "Those drivers hit hardest by record petrol and diesel are in low-income households and rural residents forced to drive much higher mileages.
The Treasury said it has protected eight million most vulnerable households with £1,200 in direct payments this year.