MOTORISTS will drive to filling stations with a sense of relief from today and into the festive season following last night's record R1.84 decrease in the price of a litre of 95 octane.

The cost of petrol reached an unprecedented R17.08 high in October, but with the latest adjustment, a litre of petrol costs R15.69. Diesel decreased by R1.45 and illuminating paraffin by R1.33.

Automobile Association of South Africa spokesperson Layton Beard said the decrease was good news and exactly the kind of relief motorists and citizens had been waiting for.

He said the drop was largely influenced by international petroleum price decreases and a favourable US dollar-rand exchange rate.

Moreover, just when South Africans were expected to enjoy the festive season with cheaper fuel prices, the government announced that the country just exited recession after economic surges in agriculture, mining and investments yesterday.

United Association of South Africa spokesperson Andre Venter said the lower petrol prices were the best Christmas present for South Africans.

Beard said the drop in fuel prices was greater than what was initially predicted and although it was exciting, it was too early in December to know what January held.