- AA says “old habits are difficult to eradicate in the fuel trade” as they fail to pass on savings
- The average price of petrol in the UK has fallen by just 1p per liter since the beginning of October
- This is despite an 8p drop in the wholesale price per liter over the same period.
The price of petrol and diesel remains artificially high as retailers refuse to pass on cheaper wholesale costs to drivers quickly enough, new analysis reveals.
Retailers are accused of pocketing profits at the expense of drivers, with the AA claiming that “old habits die hard in the fuel trade” as they persist in reducing prices at the pump much more slowly than expected. they should.
This is despite a recent investigation by the competition watchdog finding evidence of the industry’s “rocket and boom” pricing tactics.
The car group says petrol has dropped just 1p per liter since the beginning of October, despite an 8p drop in wholesale prices over the same period.
Fuel retailers are still failing to play fair with drivers: the AA says petrol is down just 1p a liter since the beginning of October, despite an 8p drop in wholesale prices over the same period.
A 10-week surge in fuel prices at gas stations triggered in the summer finally ended in early October when wholesale costs reversed.
But the full extent of these lower wholesale prices is not yet reflected at the pumps.
This is despite the Consumer Markets Authority’s high-profile investigation into the fuel sector, which ruled that retailers had rapidly raised prices at the pump when wholesale costs rose, but were reluctant to reduce them when they fell.
The AA says that on Tuesday, petrol at the pump averaged 156.05 pa liter and diesel at 162.37 pa litre.
A month ago, pumping averages stood at 155.50p and 158.95pa liter respectively (September 17), according to the AA.
The late summer surge saw petrol rise from a low of 143.22p per liter on 19 July to a high of 157.12p on 1 October. Meanwhile, diesel skyrocketed from a low of 144.31p on July 18 to a high of 163.76p on October 7.
The AA says fuel retailers continue to charge prices “like rockets and feathers”, despite the competition watchdog’s recent investigation into why the sector was not cutting prices at service stations in line with the drop in wholesale costs.
This inflated the cost of a tank of petrol by £7.65 (£78.77 versus £86.42). Refueling a van with an 80-litre tank went from £115.45 to £131.01.
He noted a “striking” difference in supermarket prices, although he said that because prices at the pump were at a “tipping point,” some lower costs were still likely to be passed on to gas stations.
Luke Bosdet, AA fuels spokesman, said: “Two features stand out: the fuel trade has been slower to pass on lower costs than when it raised prices in July, and wholesale petrol costs have not followed recent price increases. oil prices and are still well below September highs.
“This makes any failure to lower gasoline prices soon a further bad reflection on the fuel trade.”
However, the Petroleum Retailers Association has refuted the AA’s claims, saying it had overlooked multiple fluctuations, including volatile exchange rates.
Gordon Balmer, chief executive of the PRA, said: ‘Cuts to Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and growing instability in the Middle East are putting pressure on fuel prices.
‘In addition, the industry has had to adapt to rising labor costs, rising energy costs, rising crime at service stations and persistently high inflation rates. Retailers are operating on razor-thin margins to ensure motorists are offered the best possible deal.
‘As the AA recognises, many independent service stations are actively undercutting supermarkets, highlighting the dynamic nature of the market.
“As always, I would advise motorists to shop around to find the best prices.”