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Petrol prices rise again but supermarket price war returns

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The price of petrol rose for the second consecutive month in March, with a litre going up by 2p to 122.58p, according to RAC Fuel Watch data.

The average price of diesel also increased, but only by 0.70p to 130.67p

This is the second straight monthly increase for both fuels, making unleaded 2p more expensive than it was over the same period in 2018 and 2017.

The pump price rises were fuelled by a jump in the cost of oil and a drop in the value of the pound against the dollar – “the worst possible combination” for motorists, the RAC said.

However, the return of the supermarket price war may provide some relief to motorists.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “March has been another rough month for petrol drivers.

“Fortunately, normal competition between supermarket fuel retailers over the price of petrol has resumed after four months of Asda being considerably cheaper than its competitors.

“Whether this is as a result of keener pricing from the others or from Asda moving its unleaded price closer to its competitors is hard to know.”

He added: “Supermarkets play a vital role in UK fuel retailing as despite only having a fifth of forecourt sites they have 45% of the fuel market, which means that everyone else selling fuel has little option but to compete with them.

“And, if there isn’t good competition between them it can mean the UK average price of fuel is adversely affected, to the disadvantage of all drivers.”

How to cut the cost of petrol

• Do your research – lets you search for the cheapest fuel prices in your area.
• Head to supermarkets for the best deals – “The age old myth of supermarket fuel being lower quality is not true, they all have to hit a very high standard to be sold in the UK so it will not damage the car, and they are often a few pence per litre cheaper,” says a spokesperson from
• Avoid motorway service stations as they can charge up to 15p per litre more.
• Try not to accelerate or brake sharply as this consumes more fuel.

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