A massive new competitor, which is a major player in North America, is set to enter the UK with a discount fuel offer.

Costco, which has a worldwide turnover of $100bn, has applied for planning permission to build a petrol filling station (PFS) at its Liverpool site.

Steve Pappas, managing director of Costco UK, told Forecourt Trader: "Costco sells petrol at many of its warehouses in the US and Canada. If our Liverpool application is approved, this would be our first filling station in the UK and the first outside of North America."

He added that he would not be discussing Costco’s plans regarding any further petrol filling stations in the UK until the Liverpool application had been determined.

The company has been the US and Canada’s favourite fuel retailer for the past two years, according to US customer intelligence company Market Force Information.

The plans in Liverpool are for eight dual-sided fuel dispensers, on eight islands. The pumps will be fully automated with authorisation by credit card and there will be no cash sales.

The PFS would be located in the depot’s car park and would be restricted to Costco members. Costco has 25 depots across England, Scotland and Wales, and has stated that it aims to open around 50 sites in the UK.