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Price of petrol is 7p a litre too expensive at the pumps

Press release   •   Oct 17, 2019 09:54 BST

The price of petrol on the forecourt 7p a litre too expensive, data from RAC Fuel Watch* shows.

The RAC is urging fuel retailers big and small to reflect the drop in the wholesale price of unleaded with a significant cut at the pumps.

Since the beginning of October oil has been trading around $60 a barrel, falling at one point to $57.74 which has caused the wholesale price of petrol to fall steadily since 7 October.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers are losing out badly, paying around 7p a litre more for petrol than they should be. The average price of petrol is 128p (127.58p) so should be 121p. This means a driver filling up a 55-litre family car is paying £3.85 too much (£70.40 today, instead of £66.55).

“Other than the RAC highlighting this issue through monitoring wholesale and retail prices, there is little that can be done to get retailers to charge a fair price for fuel which reflects changes in the wholesale market. We would rather not see some form of price cap introduced as this will inevitably lead to smaller retailers closing down which would negatively affect those living rural communities who don’t mind paying a little more for their fuel for the convenience. We just need retailers to be more transparent with their pricing in falling wholesale fuel market.

“Drivers can always tell when pump prices are too high as they will see supermarkets offering them significant money off at the pumps after spending certain amounts in store. We realise there is a real customer loyalty benefit to them doing this which means there is a little incentive for other retailers to drop their prices.

“We really need to see the supermarkets start knocking off significant amounts at the pumps in the next week. But we know from experience that 3p a litre is the most they tend to do in one go. If that doesn’t happen, drivers should feel cheated.

“For some reason in the last year or so our biggest retailers haven’t been as transparent with their pricing as they have been in the past which means motorists all over the country lose out as a result of them taking more margin than they have previously.

“Diesel, which is currently averaging 131.55p a litre, should also be cut as its price is more than 5p too expensive. In reality it should be being sold for around 127p which would make it a penny cheaper than petrol is now.”

Motorists can keep abreast of the latest fuel prices by visiting the RAC Fuel Watch webpage.

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About the RAC

First formed in 1897, the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members for more than 120 years.

Today it serves 11m customers and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistanceinsurancebuying a used carvehicle inspections and checkslegal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC supports the interests of its members and UK drivers at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – is one of a kind and provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump - and tracks these prices daily to help drivers check if the price they pay to fill up is a fair one.