The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to highlight the colossal increase in the cost of a tanker load of petrol and offering to meet to discuss how the government can help to resolve the issues affecting independent retailers.

In a letter to Cameron this week, PRA chairman Brian Madderson stressed the problems being faced by independents, including penal and unfair business rates, unrestricted development of forecourt facilities by hypermarkets, anti-competitive pricing and supply by major oil companies, tolerance of illegal hand car washing, below-cost selling by hypermarkets, and cash flow difficulties from upfront payment of fuel duty.

The illustration of a road tanker compared the cost breakdown in 2002 when a 38,000 litre tanker cost £24,662 to this year when the same volume costs £51,452. Today, fuel duty and VAT accounts for £30,881 of the cost of a full tanker, while 10 years ago it was £21,368.

“Oil companies and hypermarkets can afford to bankroll the Treasury but this historic arrangement is now financially crippling our independents,” wrote Madderson.

He also reminded Cameron that the PRA was still awaiting a response to Madderson’s previous letter to the Prime Minister’s office earlier this year.