The RAC has referred to the ‘darker’ side of the type of fuel price cuts Morrisons has announced today - dropping the price of its unleaded fuel down to less than £1 a litre - which heaps more pressure on smaller independent fuel retailers.

It means unleaded fuel is priced at a maximum of 99.7ppl, and diesel £104.7ppl, on all its 337 forecourts nationwide.

It is the first time petrol has been sold nationally for under £1 since February 2016.

Ashley Myers, head of fuel for Morrisons, said: "This cut will help people who are travelling to work, those shopping for essentials, and those assisting the elderly and vulnerable. We want to play our full part in reducing the cost of living and feeding the nation at this difficult time."

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Although the lockdown is far from over, yesterday’s speech from the prime minister was a signal to drivers that they can begin to make more trips by car again – so credit is due to Morrisons for taking the lead and selling petrol and diesel at what is a very fair price and one that is much more reflective of what the retailer is itself paying to buy the fuel in.

“Unfortunately though there is a darker side to any large price cuts – they heap yet more pressure on smaller independent fuel retailers, who in some cases are already fighting for survival as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“It remains to be seen how long prices this low will persist for, with some early indications that wholesale petrol prices have started to rise as a result of the world oil price creeping up.”