Why It Was A Happy Christmas For Fuel Retailers

Mon 10th Jan 2022

Motorists who have felt the pain of increased petrol and diesel prices were given no respite over the festive period, as retailers were accused of ripping-off their loyal customers.

Data published by the RAC this week reveals that a fall in the wholesale price of oil through December should have seen a significant drop of 6p per litre, but that the unscrupulous petrol and diesel retailers refused to reflect that drop in their forecourt prices.

A typical 55-litre family car would have cost £80 to fill-up compared to the £74 it would have cost if petrol prices were dropped down to the 135p it should have been it. By keeping their prices the same, the RAC estimates that retailers were raking in an additional £5m a day at the expense of motorists.

 “December was a rotten month for drivers as they were taken advantage of by retailers who rewrote their pump price strategy, costing motorists millions of pounds as a result,” said Simon Williams, the RAC’s fuelspokesman.

"Their resistance to cutting prices and to only pass on a fraction of the savings they were making from lower wholesale costs is nothing short of scandalous. The 10p extra retailers have added to their long-term margin of 6p a litre has led to petrol car drivers paying £5m more a day than they previously would have.

“In the past when wholesale prices have dropped retailers have always done the right thing –eventually – and reduced their pump prices.

"This time they’ve stood strong, taking advantage of all the media talk about ‘higher energy prices’ and banked on the oil price rising again and catching up with their artificially inflated prices, which it has now done.”

The RAC data revealed that Asda had the best fuel at the end of the year, with an average cost per litre of 141.8p.