According to reports, petrol firms have been accused of defrauding motorists. They also claim that they are cashing in on the Christmas vacation as pump prices reached 146.27p per litre

  • Record breaking 20p per Liter record for petrol forecourt margins
  • Some services are charging £10 over the national average to fill a 55-litre tank
  • The AA charged providers with keeping holiday prices high during the rush. 










The great Christmas escape has been accused of being a scam by petrol firms.

For the first time petrol forecourt margins have surged past a record 20p a litre – or £11 on every tank of fuel.

And some motorway services are charging £10 over the national average to fill the typical 55-litre tank in a family car.

Because supermarkets have stopped engaging in the traditional price-cutting battle, prices are expected to remain high. 

But the AA accused petrol providers of keeping prices artificially high to cash in on the holiday rush – with around nine in ten drivers expected to take to the roads over the next week.

Petrol firms have been accused of ripping off motorists by cashing in on the great Christmas getaway. For the first time petrol forecourt margins have surged past a record 20p a litre – or £11 on every tank of fuel.

According to reports, petrol companies have been accused in ripping motorists off by taking advantage of the Christmas holiday. For the first time petrol forecourt margins have surged past a record 20p a litre – or £11 on every tank of fuel.

 

According to a report from the motoring association, wholesale fuel prices fell by over 10p per litre in two weeks as global oil prices dropped. 

The average petrol pump price fell only 1.5p per litre, so suppliers and retailers are not passing these savings on.

Average petrol prices for this week were 146.27p per litre and diesel was 149.56p.

These prices are comparable to all-time records of 147.72p or 151.10p in the last month.

Tory MP Robert Halfon said firms were ‘feeding the cost of living crisis’. 

The Petrol Retailers Association represents independent forecourts and said that profit margins had to be higher in order to recover losses from the pandemic.

Howard Cox was the founder and leader of FairFuelUK. He called for price caps and a watchdog to control the sector.

He said: ‘Even allowing for market increases in margins and distribution costs, the world’s highest taxed drivers are paying up to 10 pence more than is honest.

‘Everyone knows this is a perennial problem, except the Treasury. Dishonest fuel pricing has resulted in a flood of VAT that is flooding the government. It amounts to billions. It’s time for an independent regulator to protect drivers.’

The AA also concluded that prices were artificially kept high because of less competition among supermarkets.

Their forecourts are the most affordable and there has been a tradition of a price war at the pumps between them. This was designed to bring more shoppers into their stores.

This means that while average petrol prices in supermarkets are now 2.2p per litre less than the UK average last May, they were still 6.3p/litre below UK average. Last month, this dropped as low as 1.9p.

The average savings from buying petrol in a supermarket can be as high as three times.

It is partly due to the takeover of EG Group by Issa brothers, a private equity firm and billionaire, from Asda.

The AA’s fuel supremo, Luke Bosdet, said: ‘When the supermarkets ceased to compete, their rivals enjoyed an early Christmas. ‘There were two clear price-cutters in the spring of 2020, Asda and Morrison, and neither have seized the initiative.’

The AA’s fuel supremo, Luke Bosdet, said: ‘When the supermarkets ceased to compete, their rivals enjoyed an early Christmas. ‘There were two clear price-cutters in the spring of 2020, Asda and Morrison, and neither have seized the initiative.’

The AA’s fuel supremo, Luke Bosdet, said: ‘When the supermarkets ceased to compete, their rivals enjoyed an early Christmas.

‘There were two clear price-cutters in the spring of 2020, Asda and Morrison, and neither have seized the initiative.’ 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘It has become blatantly apparent in the last six weeks that any competition that existed in supermarket fuel retailing has all but disappeared.

‘Since mid-November when the wholesale price of petrol began to fall, the big four supermarkets, who dominate fuel sales, have upped their margins to 11p a litre from around 4p prior to that.

‘We fear that a change of pricing behaviour from Asda is to blame. Asda had previously cut fuel prices to get customers to their stores. If wholesale costs drop, other retailers will follow its lead. Since its change of ownership however, this hasn’t happened.’

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