Petrol pump

The RAC has stepped up its praise for independent fuel retailers, and criticism of supermarkets, after the latest fuel price data published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The figures from BEIS show a litre of petrol cost an average of 165.5p on Monday, while diesel was 181.1ppl. They are the lowest prices since 16 May.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “While this is clearly good news, prices should have fallen much further than they have due to the big reduction in the cost of wholesale fuel this summer.

“And the main reason this hasn’t happened is that the big four supermarkets, which dominate UK fuel sales, have refused to pass on savings they are benefitting from buying cheaper wholesale petrol and diesel. This means average margins are now 19p a litre – 12ppl more than the long-term average. Petrol should really be on sale for 153ppl and diesel 175ppl.

“We also have a strange situation where independent retailers that have traditionally been far more expensive than their supermarket rivals are often selling at far lower prices. Proof of this is the fact that average price of a litre of unleaded at a supermarket is only a penny lower than the UK average when it used to be around 4ppl lower.”

Referring to the investigation that is currently looking into road fuel pricing, he added:

“We hope the Competition and Markets Authority is watching what’s happening closely.”