Rip-off with Petrol: Last month, retail outlets pushed pump prices up 3p while wholesale prices fell 10p.

  • Drivers continue to face high fuel prices, Motoring Organization steps up
  • In the wake of Omicron concerns, wholesale oil prices fell in recent days.
  • However, diesel and petrol are being sold at higher prices than ever. 

The RAC reports that retailers continue to increase fuel prices and make savings on wholesale oil prices.

Motoring service organisation laments the high fuel prices drivers are still paying, despite the fact that oil prices dropped by 10p last month due to concerns about the Omicron version.

Instead of cutting costs, companies instead increased average prices by 3.1p per unleaded gasoline and 2.7p each for diesel in November.

The average motorist was spending 147.28p on average and 150.64p each – both a narrowly lower than the November record.

The RAC said today it feels there is no justification for the high prices being charged on forecourts and is pleading with retailers to cut pump prices immediately to fairer levels – by around 12p a litre for petrol and 7p for diesel.

A graph shows how wholesale petrol and diesel prices (the green and black dotted lines respectively) and petrol and diesel prices at the pump (the green and black solid lines respectively) have changed over time

The graph below shows the changes in wholesale petrol prices and diesel prices over time (the black and green dotted lines, respectively) as well as petrol and diesel prices at pump (the black and green solid lines, respectively).

A graph shows how much supermarkets have charged for petrol (green) and diesel (black) over time

The graph below shows the changes in petrol and diesel prices over time.

A graph shows how the average price of petrol (green) and diesel (black) has changed by year

The graph below shows the year-over-year change in petrol and diesel prices.

The reason for the abrupt drop in wholesale price towards the end the month is because of OmicronCovid’s variant. A barrel of oil fell to $70.90 at November’s end, down from $84.74 at its beginning. 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘Sadly, our data shows all too clearly that drivers are being taken for a ride by retailers at the moment. 

“We don’t believe there is any reason for these prices at the pump and we are worried that those who depend on vehicles to get on the roads are priced out of their income.” 

‘The wholesale petrol price, which is what retailers pay to buy new supply, dropped by 10p from mid-November, so we can’t see how any increase – let alone a 3p one – was warranted. 

“Much sooner in the pandemic, we saw the margins on fuel retailers increase because the price of oil plummeted due to people being told not to leave the house.”

In the aftermath of a fuel shortage earlier in autumn, prices have shot up since then. There were huge lines outside the forecourts.

Nearly 200 military officers were dispatched to areas hardest hit to stock up on supplies. Tensions are often high among motorists who need fuel to travel to work and school, while the tensions frequently flare.

Williams said that despite the announcement of a Covid variant, it was a totally different world. With car use at pre-pandemic levels, retailers should not be making huge profits from every litre they sell. 

We urge them to act quickly and reduce prices.

“There is also an argument that the competition in retail fueling isn’t working. A fact which has been clearly demonstrated by none of those who publicly defend their decision to reduce pump prices. 

The big four retail giants, who dominate the fuel market, don’t seem to want to reduce their prices in an effort to get customers into stores. 

You can be sure that other major brands will follow your lead if a brand cuts its price tomorrow. If wholesale prices were mirrored more closely by retailers on a daily and weekly basis, it would make things much easier.