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Independent filling stations leading on fairer fuel prices, RAC finds

Date: 22 July 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

UK filling stations are proving slow to respond to drops in wholesale fuel prices, with those that have more likely to be independent operations, according to the RAC.

The motoring organisation said that the price of petrol should currently be around 174p per litre, rather than the current average of 188p, due to falls in the wholesale price over the last two weeks, but that only 157 of more than 4,500 forecourts it surveyed were currently charging between 170.9p and 179.9p per litre.

Of these, it said 125 were independently owned petrol stations, 28 were major supermarket sites and four were owned by oil companies.

As for diesel, the current average price is 196p per litre, which according to the RAC should be reduced to 189p. It said 250 forecourts were selling at 180p-189.9p per litre, with 192 of these independents, 43 run by supermarkets, and 15 oil company-owned.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "Weekly wholesale petrol prices - that's the price retailers pay to buy the fuel - have fallen by a massive 17p a litre, from a weekly average of around 152p at the start of June to just 135p this week. Yet average pump prices have reduced by a paltry 4p. It's time for every retailer to do the right thing and cut their prices to more reasonable levels.

"Our analysis of this new data shows something else that is very telling. It appears to be the case that it's no longer the big four supermarkets that lead on price, but instead smaller independent sites that are prepared to buck the national forecourt trend.

"Certainly, the days of fuel 'price wars' - where the supermarkets simultaneously cut their prices and made a big deal of doing so - appear to be well and truly over. Instead, supermarkets seem to prefer to battle over grocery prices which, while helpful, is ignoring the huge sums households are having to fork out for fuel to keep their cars running."