Major supermarket groups have cut the cost of petrol and diesel after the RAC criticised their pricing policies and claimed the average price of petrol should fall by as much as 7ppl to reflect a fall in wholesale prices.
Asda was the first to make a move cutting the price of diesel by 3ppl and unleaded petrol by 2ppl meaning its price ceiling is 121.7ppl on unleaded petrol and 125.7ppl on diesel.
Asda senior fuel buyer Dave Tyrer said: “With wholesale costs falling and half term just around the corner, we’re pleased to be able lower the cost of fuel and pass these savings onto our customers.”
Morrisons and Sainsbury’s then announced similar cuts in their prices with Morrisons’ new prices effective from today (Friday October 18) and Sainsbury’s coming into force a day later.
Prior to the cuts the RAC claimed the average price of petrol was 7ppl to expensive because it did not reflect reductions in the wholesale since the start of October.
It said that since the beginning of October oil has been trading at around $60 a barrel, falling at one point to $57.74 which has caused the wholesale price of petrol to fall steadily since 7 October.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers are losing out badly, paying around 7ppl more for petrol than they should be. The average price of petrol is 128ppl (127.58ppl) so should be 121ppl.
“Other than the RAC highlighting this issue through monitoring wholesale and retail prices, there is little that can be done to get retailers to charge a fair price for fuel which reflects changes in the wholesale market. We would rather not see some form of price cap introduced as this will inevitably lead to smaller retailers closing down which would negatively affect those living rural communities who don’t mind paying a little more for their fuel for the convenience. We just need retailers to be more transparent with their pricing in falling wholesale fuel market.
“Drivers can always tell when pump prices are too high as they will see supermarkets offering them significant money off at the pumps after spending certain amounts in store. We realise there is a real customer loyalty benefit to them doing this which means there is a little incentive for other retailers to drop their prices.
“We really need to see the supermarkets start knocking off significant amounts at the pumps in the next week. But we know from experience that 3ppl is the most they tend to do in one go. If that doesn’t happen, drivers should feel cheated.
“For some reason in the last year or so our biggest retailers haven’t been as transparent with their pricing as they have been in the past which means motorists all over the country lose out as a result of them taking more margin than they have previously.
“Diesel, which is currently averaging 131.55ppl, should also be cut as its price is more than 5ppl too expensive. In reality it should be being sold for around 127ppl which would make it a penny cheaper than petrol is now.”