The NRMA says the consumer watchdog must investigate why oil companies have broken their own price cycle and raised prices just before motorists take to the road for their Christmas holidays.
The motoring body on Friday called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to probe the price hikes, which they say are forcing drivers to pay 10 to 15 cents more a litre.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the oil companies' own price cycle had consistently been 17 to 18 days, but that had been halved in time for the holiday rush.
He said Friday's average Sydney price should be $1.32 and not the $1.45 being charged at the bowser.
"Motorists would be bitterly disappointed that just as their families were packing up and getting ready to go away for a well-earned break they are confronted with petrol prices that (are) anywhere between 10 and 15 cents dearer than what they should (be)," Mr Khoury said.
"The ACCC needs to earn its dollars, it needs to call in the oil companies, particularly the major players, because they're the ones who have led this increase, call them in, shame them out, and get them to explain to the Australian people why they have chosen to put prices up to the tune of what they have just as families are going away."