Hundreds of rural petrol stations could be put out of business by big hikes in business rates coming into force next April, it has been warned.
The RMI Independent Petrol Retailers Association (RMI Petrol) - representing two-thirds of the UK's 9,000 petrol stations - is planning a parliamentary fight against the rises, which it said could "ravage" its members.
The association is protesting because the business rates of independent petrol stations are based on their relatively high turnover rather than square footage like other retailers.
The latest round of proposed rate increases by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has put forward business rate increases of up to 200% in some cases, RMI Petrol said.
Rising petrol prices have been a major factor behind the revaluations, but the organisation has warned the rate of closures among independent petrol retailers could double to around 500 a year if the hikes come into force - leaving many rural communities without a life-line.
Chairman Brian Madderson said: "It is totally unacceptable that the VOA is threatening to put some of our members out of business in these recessionary times.
"We are calling upon the VOA to re-consider their process, before the sector gets ravaged, especially with the prospect of yet more casualties in fragile rural economies."
The VOA was unavailable for comment.
Shadow communities and local government minister Justine Greening said: "The planned 2010 business rates revaluation seems to clearly hurt many rural petrol stations. Often they supply not just fuel to rural villages but many act as a local shop too.
"The rate hikes they face could leave thousands of people without the most basic amenities."