Fury over ‘too high’ fuel prices: Gas stations criticized for ripping off drivers despite falling oil prices
- Petrol still costs 157.02 a litre, despite oil falling more than £8 a barrel
Gas stations are coming under fire for ripping off drivers as the cost of fuel remains stubbornly high despite a drop in oil prices this week.
Motorists paid 4.52 pence more per liter for petrol in September as the cost of oil rose, and the average price at the pump rose to 157.01 pence last month.
But the price of a barrel of oil has fallen by more than £8 in the last 10 days, making it cheaper for service stations to stock up on fuel.
However, the savings have not been passed on to motorists – a liter of petrol still costs 157.02p – and campaigners accused retailers of keeping prices “unnecessarily high”.
Lobbyists urged retailers to “do the right thing” and reduce fuel prices for consumers. In response, gas stations said they faced rising operating costs.
Fuel prices have stagnated at 157.02 pa liter despite the cost of oil falling more than £8 a barrel in the last 10 days.
Howard Cox, of campaign group Fair Fuel UK, said motorists are being ripped off.
“The fuel supply chain remains uncontrolled, trampling on the cost of refueling,” he said.
“Prices at the pump, particularly gasoline, are far more expensive than necessary and remain opaque to drivers, keeping inflation unnecessarily high in a cost of living crisis.”
The latest RAC data showed a liter of petrol cost 157.02p on Thursday, meaning it now costs £86.30 to fill up a standard family car.
Diesel cost 154.78 pence per liter at the beginning of September before jumping to 163.11 pence during the month (the fifth largest monthly increase in the last 23 years) and prices had reached 162.46 pence per liter on Thursday.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the sudden oil price drop “should soon bring welcome relief to drivers at the pumps”.
“Larger retailers will certainly purchase new supplies at much lower wholesale prices due to the fact that they consume the most fuel,” he said.
“It remains to be seen, however, whether they will then do the right thing and pass on the savings they benefit from to drivers at their service stations across the country.”
The AA said it could take up to two weeks for the drop in oil prices to be passed on at the pump “if retailers play nice”.
An AA spokesperson said: ‘By mid-October, unless the oil market changes again, drivers should know… whether pump prices still affect drivers.
“Prices at the pump should drop soon because the arrival of fall nights and weather makes car engines work harder and increases fuel consumption.”
The Gasoline Distributors Association, which represents 64 percent of all service stations, says garages are facing higher operating costs.
However, the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents 64 percent of all service stations, said garages are facing higher operating costs.
The organisation’s chief executive, Gordon Balmer, said: “To cope with rising labor costs, energy costs and the highest inflation rates in recent years and reduced fuel sales, margins will inevitably have increased”.
It comes as the latest figures show demand for petrol and diesel cars remains high despite the push towards electric vehicles.
Figures from motor industry body SMMT this week showed electric car sales plunged 14 per cent in September compared to last year.