RAC Analysis Shows Unfairly High Fuel Prices

According to figures published by the RAC, only 10% (407) of a sample of more than 4,500 UK forecourts are charging a fair price for petrol and diesel. And, the majority of those are independently owned.

The current average price of unleaded is 188p per litre, but RAC believes that retailers should be charging nearer to 174p per litre.

Only 157 petrol stations are selling a litre between 170.9p and 179.9p. Of these, 125 are independently owned stations, 28 are major supermarket sites and 4 are owned by oil companies.

4,436 of all the sites sampled are selling unleaded at 180p+ a litre.

The current average price of diesel is 196p per litre, but RAC believe that retailers should be charging nearer to 189p per litre.

Only 250 of 4,805 forecourts are selling diesel between 180p and 189.9p per litre. And, 192 of these are independently owned, 43 are major supermarket sites and 15 are owned by oil companies.

Although supermarkets have led the fuel market with the cheapest pump prices, they are only around a penny lower than the UK average, compared to the usual 4p.

The RAC is urging all retailers to cut pump prices to reflect the fact the wholesale cost of fuel has been falling for 6 straight weeks due to lower oil price.

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “Weekly wholesale petrol prices – that’s the price retailers pay to buy the fuel – have fallen by a massive 17p a litre, from a weekly average of around 152p at the start of June to just 135p this week. Yet average pump prices have reduced by a paltry 4p. It’s time for every retailer to do the right thing and cut their prices to more reasonable levels”.

“Our analysis of this new data shows something else that is very telling. It appears to be the case that it’s no longer the big four supermarkets that lead on price, but instead smaller independent sites that are prepared to buck the national forecourt trend.”

“Last month, the cost of filling a typical 55-litre family-sized car with petrol rose by a record £9.12, with diesel just behind at £8.59. For a car that does 40 miles to the gallon, that means it costs a driver around 22p for every mile they drive – up from around 16p at the start of the year. Drivers are desperate for some relief at the pumps yet, with a few notable exceptions, few retailers seem to be willing to price their fuel fairly.”

For more information, head over to the RAC website.