Aussie drivers are expected to get petrol price relief in the federal budget, but there is one big catch to cutting the fuel excise.

Drivers have been warned they could be cheated out of petrol savings unless fuel companies agree to lower prices.

Skyrocketing prices at the petrol pump are set to receive special attention in the federal budget, with a cut to the fuel excise.

But the NRMA is concerned fuel companies could use the cut to boost their own profit margins instead of passing the savings onto consumers.

“There needs to be a pretty stringent monitoring of these margins to make sure the petrol companies don’t just increase their margins and eat up the cost, and then motorists get no relief,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.

Australia’s fuel giants said they would wait and see what’s in the budget.

“Should a change to fuel excise be announced in the budget, Ampol will work with the federal government to ensure it benefits consumers as intended as soon as feasible,” an spokesman for the petroleum company said.

He added excise was just one factor in deciding the cost, and that recent high prices were linked to the rising global cost of oil.

A BP spokesman said the company had a policy of not commenting on future prices.

“Should a change in excise be announced in the federal budget, BP will take this into account into any future pricing decisions,” he said.

A temporary cut to the fuel excise has been floated ahead of Tuesday’s federal budget.

The 44 cent-per-litre tax is used by the government to pay for things like road upgrades.

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers chief executive Mark McKenzie said it would likely take several days for any price drops to be felt.

Mr McKenzie told the radio station 3AW stations may need to “clear the volume that’s in the ground” before adjusting prices.

“For some service stations they’ll get daily deliveries, for others its two or three days,” he said.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the organisation opposed cutting the fuel excise. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the organisation opposed cutting the fuel excise. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

The NRMA has opposed the proposed excise cut because they say it will leave less funds for maintaining roads.

“We’re pleased that the government has increased spending on roads across the country … We think that the excise should be allocated to that consistently, year on year,” Mr Khoury said.

Several European countries and New Zealand have already cut fuel taxes as the cost of living increases, putting pressure on household budgets.

Australian petrol price records have been broken several times over the past few months.

Most capital cities currently see average petrol prices of more than $2 per litre.

Before December, petrol prices in Sydney had never topped $1.80.

On Monday, the city’s cheapest petrol was found in Villawood where a litre cost $1.87.

Extracted in full from: Federal Budget 2022: NRMA says any fuel tax savings must be passed on to drivers | — Australia’s leading news site