CASH-strapped motorists are paying 10p too much for a litre of petrol because forecourts are “overcharging,” analysis has revealed.
Motoring organisation the RAC has accused retailers of failing to pass on the record fall in wholesale prices last month of unleaded petrol to drivers.
At the end of August, the average forecourt price had dropped by 12.3p to 169.8p per litre, the largest monthly drop since records began 22 years ago.
However the RAC said they should have fallen further to around 161p.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Twelve pence a litre is a lot to come off prices in a single month so there’s no doubt things could be worse, but in reality drivers of petrol vehicles are still getting a raw deal at the pumps.
“For whatever reason, major retailers are choosing not to pass on in full the reductions in the wholesale price of unleaded they’ve been benefiting from for some considerable time.”
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There is a strong case for the biggest sellers of petrol to cut their forecourt prices even further, reports The Daily Telegraph.
With the price at 161p, retailers would still be making a sizeable profit of 10p a litre, the RAC said.
“Some big supermarket sites aren’t too far off charging this – but there’s a real postcode lottery out there, with prices varying wildly depending on where a driver is in the country,” it said.
At the end of August, the average price per litre of diesel was 183.7p, a “fairer reflection of wholesale costs”, the RAC said.
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The price of fuel rose dramatically this year as the price of crude oil shot up largely due to the war in Ukraine.
Refinery costs have also risen, adding pressure on supply after refining capacity was reduced during the pandemic.
A fall in the value of the pound has also added inflationary pressure on prices as it pushed up prices.
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Craig Mackinlay, a Conservative MP and the chairman of the Fair Fuel all-party parliamentary group, said: “We should be seeing reductions of at least 25p per litre across all pump fuels.”
He called for the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate why retailers were not passing on savings to consumers faster.
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