Motoring

Fuel retailers urged to cut pump prices amid lower wholesale costs

Diesel prices are is currently overpriced by around 4p a litre at an average of 162p across the country, the RAC reports.

Last week a litre of wholesale diesel averaged 123p meaning average retailer margin is around 12p, compared to the 8p long-term figure tracked by the RAC since 2012.

The RAC says news of much higher-than-average margins revealed via the RAC’s analysis of wholesale and retail fuel prices is very concerning given the Competition and Markets Authority concluded its investigation in the summer and found that the big four supermarkets had overcharged drivers by 6p a litre in 2022, costing them around £900m.

The report recommended retailers be required to provide real-time pump prices by site and that a price monitoring body be created – both of which the Government has pledged to legislate for. In fact, after being strongly encouraged to publish prices by the former Energy Secretary ahead of it being mandated in law, many larger retailers started doing so.

However, there is not yet any news on when a pump price watchdog may be set up.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said “Our analysis sadly shows that despite the Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation confirming drivers were being ripped off at the pumps – something we have been saying for years – and the Government acting on the findings, nothing has changed.

“Drivers are still losing out massively when wholesale prices come down.

“But in Northern Ireland where the supermarkets don’t dominate fuel retailing drivers are getting fairer deal with a litre of unleaded costing 150p and diesel 157p – 5p less than the UK average.”

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