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Supermarkets slash pump prices by up to 3p per litre

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Asda sparked a pump price war as it announced it would slash the cost of both petrol and diesel by up to 3p per litre after a fall in wholesale costs.

Drivers filling up at any of Asda’s 322 forecourts will save £1.50 off the cost of a tank of fuel from today.

The supermarket runs a national price cap so drivers will pay no more than 120.7p per litre on unleaded and 124.7p per litre on diesel.

On Tuesday, The RAC said a sudden fall in demand for oil due to the coronavirus means UK drivers should expect a cut in the price of fuel this week.

The move by Asda was quickly followed by Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, also slashing up to 3p per litre on petrol and diesel.

However, the price reduction at 315 Sainsbury’s forecourts and 335 Morrisons’ forecourts will only take effect from Friday. Sainsbury’s customers will also be able to collect Nectar points with each fill up.

‘Discrimination quite simply mean’

Supermarkets have been criticised for only passing on wholesale price cuts to drivers who spend money in-store.

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman, praised Asda for a straight price cut at the pumps: “Average UK petrol and diesel pump prices have been at their highest since January since 2014 and, despite wholesale costs declining over the past two to three weeks, they have stayed stubbornly above 128p a litre for petrol and 132.5p for diesel.

“This new price cut [Asda] is in line with wholesale petrol falling from an average of 39.4p a litre in early January to the 37.0p between Wednesday and Friday last week.

“Instead, two other major supermarkets have gone back down the fuel voucher route, tying savings of 5p a litre to spends of £40-£50. Once again, if you’re on a low income and your spending power isn’t up to it, you miss out. Given the time of year with customers trying to pay off Christmas debts and fuel costs falling dramatically, that discrimination is quite simply mean.”

Asda senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyrer said: “We’re pleased to be dropping fuel prices for the first time this year.  January has been a tough month for motorists so we’re glad to be dropping the cost in line with falling wholesale markets. We will continue to put the savings straight back into drivers pockets without any vouchering requirements meaning all our customers, regardless of their budget, will benefit from a price cut at the pumps.”

David Pegg, fuel buying manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “As we head into the start of February we are committed to helping our customers live well for less, which is why we’re dropping the price of both unleaded petrol and diesel by up to 3 pence per litre across every single one of our forecourts from Friday. Whether in store or at the pumps, customers know they will get fantastic value with Sainsbury’s.”

Ashley Myers, Morrisons’ head of fuel, said: “We always aim to pass on savings as soon as we can and keep our fuel prices well below the UK average.”