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Petrol retailers fail to pass on ‘big savings’ to drivers

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04/09/2019
Drivers are paying almost 3p more for a litre of petrol than they should be as retailers have failed to pass on lower wholesale prices, the RAC has said.

While a litre of petrol fell by 0.27p to 128.88p last month, the wholesale price came down dramatically by 4.38p to 96.57p.

Simon Williams, a spokesperson for the motor organisation, said drivers “have the right to feel angry” that retailers didn’t fully pass on “big savings” in the wholesale price.

“With nearly 4.5p coming off the wholesale price of petrol drivers should have seen, at the very least, 2p a litre being knocked off at the pumps by the end of the month,” he said.

The situation with diesel was similar with a litre decreasing by 0.38p to 131.66p while its wholesale price fell by 1p a litre to 101.12p.

According to the RAC data, the average price for petrol at the UK’s four biggest fuel retailers – Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – was 125.41p  and 128.04p diesel, a 0.55p and 0.6p reduction on July respectively.

RAC said that retailers should be charging around 126p for a litre of unleaded.

Williams added: “There was a time when a 4.5p reduction in the wholesale price would have led the supermarkets to cut their prices significantly, but unfortunately those days seem to have passed as they no longer appear to have the appetite for them despite the clear wholesale market dip.

“Perhaps they are hedging their bets thinking there could be a further drop in the value of sterling which will could cause wholesale prices to increase again.”

How to cut the cost of petrol:

  • Do your research. PetrolPrices.com 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 PetrolPrices.com.
  • 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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