UK fuel stations overcharging motorists by 5p per litre, says study
Minister calls for independent monitoring body to prevent unfair pricing
UK motorists are paying on average 5p more per litre for fuel than they should because fuel stations have not reduced their prices in line with crude oil rates, which today have fallen to a six-week low of $72.45 (£55.06) per barrel.
A study by fuel price campaigner FairFuelUK revealed that fuel stations have made £500 million in “opportunistic profiteering” by not reducing prices of petrol and diesel accordingly in the past three months.
The report found that on 15 June, whoelsale oil prices were at £55.36/barrel, while the UK average retail price for diesel was £1.322/litre and petrol £1.292/litre. On 4 May, when oil prices were a comparable £55.45/barrel, diesel was just £1.268/litre and petrol £1.239/litre.
FairFuelUK says inconsistencies in pricing have favoured the seller and equated to an average overspend per tank of about £2.50 per car.
“In Germany and France, pump prices can fluctuate on the forecourts daily, even hourly,” said Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK. “The cost of filling up in these countries accurately reflects oil and wholesale prices.”
However, Cox said that in the UK “motorists and businesses are exploited ruthlessly by the fuel supply chain”. He called on the Government to “protect hard-working consumers and the economy from this recurring disingenuous manipulation”.
His comments were echoed by a Conservative MP for Scotland, Kirstene Hair, who said that the UK needs “an independent price monitoring body” to “ensure households and businesses are no longer charged unfairly for fuel”.
By contrast, fuel duty’s impact on petrol and diesel prices has remained consistent for seven years. Chancellor Philip Hammond’s latest budget confirmed that it would stand at 57.95p per litre.
Source: Autocar Online