Drivers can only fill up with £70 worth of petrol within 24 hours at pumps at an Oxfordshire supermarket in a bid to drive out credit card fraud.

The scheme is designed to stop thieves from using stolen cards at pay-at-the-pump facilities, which do not require a pin number.

But Asda's new policy at its revamped card-only forecourt in Wheatley has been labelled ridiculous by one motorist.

Martin Castle was left red-faced last Monday when he could not pay for £50 of petrol he had put in his van because his debit card was refused.

Earlier in the day, his wife Jane had already unwittingly reached the £70 limit using their joint account card to pay for £20 of fuel in their Mondeo.

Mr Castle, of Larch End, Garsington, who paid using a different card, said: "I have £2,000 in the bank but I couldn't pay for my fuel with my debit card. It just seems ridiculous it probably costs about £70 to fill a family car these days. If we both wanted to fill up on the same day, we can't."

An Asda spokesman said: "The limit is to do with Government regulations to prevent fraud - that is why we did it."

A spokesman for payment industry body Apacs, the main industry voice on issues like card fraud and electronic payments, said: "Asda will have made that decision based on wanting customers not to be affected by card fraud.

"Unfortunately in this case the customer has been caught out by the limit, and they might want to look at that.

"Given that retailers are in the business to get as much cash as possible, they don't want to do things that mean their customers will go elsewhere."

Tesco has a similar system in place when customers use the pay-at-the-pump option, which limits their spending to £60.

A spokesman said: "The limit has been in place ever since we introduced the pay at the pump facility and it is designed to prevent fraud."

A Sainsbury's spokesman said they did not have a restriction on how much could be spent on petrol.