Drivers ‘should be angry’ as retailers fail to pass on petrol savings

Drivers ‘should be angry’ as retailers fail to pass on petrol savings
Drivers ‘should be angry’ as retailers fail to pass on petrol savings

The RAC has said drivers should feel angry that filling stations around the country have not passed on significant savings on the cost of petrol in the last month.

The latest RAC Fuel Watch data shows that there was a small reduction in average costs around the country in August but this did not reflect the larger wholesale savings.

On wholesale markets, the price of petrol fell 4.38p to 96.57p per litre but across the UK the average price at the pump dropped just 0.27p to 128.88p.

Diesel prices also fell, by a less significant 1p per litre, with just 0.38p of that saving being passed along to bring an average litre to 131.66p.

The RAC has now called on retailers to cut their forecourt prices to pass their savings on to customers.

2p per litre saving

Savings have been greatest at the big four supermarkets but still a fraction of the wholesale drop. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Savings have been greatest at the big four supermarkets but still a fraction of the wholesale drop. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Read more: How will a no-deal Brexit affect fuel prices?

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers have the right to feel angry that the price of fuel did not fall more in August than it did. With nearly 4.5p coming off the wholesale price of petrol drivers should have seen, at the very least, 2p a litre being knocked off at the pumps by the end of the month.”

The supermarket “big four” did reduce their prices slightly more than the average, with cuts of 0.55p on petrol and 0.6p on diesel bringing their prices to around 3.5p lower than the national average.

Mr Williams added: “While the average price charged by the supermarkets came down a little more than the UK average they should really have led the way with larger cuts which would have spurred other retailers to reduce their prices too.

Read more: Petrol postcode lottery – the most and least affordable fuel across the UK

“By our calculations retailers ought to be charging around 126p for a litre of unleaded based on a wholesale price of 98p a litre, which many retailers will have bought at a couple of weeks ago, and then factoring in delivery, a reasonable margin of 5p a litre and VAT. As for the supermarkets they could easily be selling at around 122p.”

Regional differences

Regional data showed that drivers in the south-east paid most for both fuel types – 129.72ppl and 132.73ppl – while those in Northern Ireland enjoyed lower prices than the rest of the UK at 126.01ppl and 129.02ppl.

Read more: Where petrol costs 1p per litre – the world’s cheapest (and most expensive) fuel prices revealed

“If Northern Ireland can charge a fairer price why can’t retailers in the rest of the UK do it?” said Williams. “For this reason we strongly urge all retailers outside of Northern Ireland to cut their prices in the next week by at least 2p a litre on both petrol and diesel.

“There was a time when a 4.5p reduction in the wholesale price would have led the supermarkets to cut their prices significantly, but unfortunately those days seem to have passed.

“Perhaps they are hedging their bets thinking there could be a further drop in the value of sterling which will could cause wholesale prices to increase again.”

VW, Audi and Skoda recall: the car models affected by the power error, and if UK vehicles will be affected

80,000 cars have been recalled

Scotland becomes first UK country to introduce pavement parking ban – here's how the new law works

As of 2021, drivers will no longer be able to park on the pavement in Scotland.

The rudest '69 series number plates banned from the road by the DVLA

Some plates are deemed too offensive or inappropriate due to their combinations of letters and numbers

Once our cars go electric, how will motorists be taxed to raise money for roads?

The decline of fossil fuels will present a conundrum