The Royal Automobile Club and others have long contended that British companies and motorists are overpaying for gasoline, which is the backbone of the UK economy, stoking the fires of inflation and the cost of living issue in the process.
According to the RAC Fuel Watch analysis, at the end of last month, compared to petrol, diesel was 6p cheaper per liter on the wholesale market.
However, the average pump price for petrol was 146.5 p, while that for diesel stood at 159.43 p.
Despite the fact that the research indicated a 4p per liter decrease for diesel at forecourts in April, the prices in Northern Ireland, where a fuel price transparency mechanism is in place, were more sensible at 147.47p.
It has been widely accepted that drivers should pay 143 pence “at the very most” for a liter of diesel.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has affected UK drivers, who are facing a record increase in fuel bills. Prices of fuel hit a record 41-year high last autumn, triggering further inflation.
Costs have only gradually decreased since the top of oil prices in June 2022, and supermarkets, who formerly set the pace for fuel price reductions, signaled last year that the days of cheap fuel were over as they focused their attention on food value owing to the pressure on household budgets.
Shoppers are lured in once again by stores’ fuel promotions.
According to the RAC, diesel at supermarkets was 2.75p cheaper compared to the national average price, while unleaded fuel stood at 3.5p.
Despite motoring groups and campaign groups challenging for greater transparency regarding fuel prices, retailers were given a clean chit by the Competition and Market Authority’s report last year.
The spokesperson for RAC Fuel, Simon Williams, stated: “We feel there should be an obligation on retailers to reflect wholesale price movements on their forecourts.”
“Sadly, the only place this seems to happen is in Northern Ireland, where a liter of diesel is, incredibly, being sold for 12p less than the UK-wide average.”
“Our data shows that the average retailer margin on a liter of diesel is a shocking 22p a liter compared to petrol which is around 8p.”
“The long-term averages for both fuels is 7p, which means retailers are making three times what they have in the past for diesel. This is hard for them to justify and equally hard for diesel drivers to swallow.”
“Action at a government level is badly needed to stop drivers being ripped off any longer.”
The executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, representing independent operators, Gordon Balmer, reacted: “The independent sector accounts for approximately 36% market share by fuel sale, while the supermarkets are market leaders at 45%.”
“Due to their market share, supermarkets are price leaders, and in many cases, our members will use them as markers for pump prices when operating in the same area.”
“This dynamic is now shifting, with many commentators noting that independent forecourts are increasingly offering more competitive prices.”
A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium, representing the major retailers, replied to Sky News: “The price of diesel has been falling consistently throughout 2023 as retailers aim to provide their customers with the best value for money.”
- Published By Team Timeswire