ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all announced either a cut of 2p a litre or an intention to, right across the country – a move that it is hoped will force the more traditional petrol stations to follow suit.
The AA broadly welcomed the move, but then urged other retailers to do the same, but quicker!.
“Unless the rest of the market reflects the lower cost, it’s a case of the same old story – prices up like a rocket, falling like a feather,” said AA’s head of public affairs Paul Watters. “Last week, our fuel price report pointed to a 4p drop in petrol wholesale prices working its way through the system,” Mr Watters said.
“UK average petrol pump prices reached a late summer high of around 140p a litre in mid-September and sat there for more than a fortnight. More than a month on, the average petrol price yesterday was down to only 138.70p a litre.”
In the meantime, diesel prices have also fallen; only by 1p a litre – but this reflects the fall in wholesale costs too!
Hopefully, as the AA said in their quote, the other petrol retailers follow suit – something that doesn’t always happen. In fact, the AA is currently in the process of providing information to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as part of the OFT’s ongoing investigation as to whether or not falls in the price of oil prices are being passed on to motorists.
Back in September, urged by the fact that between June 2007 and June 2012, petrol prices rose by 38% and diesel prices increased by 43%., the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has “asked for the fuel industry, motoring groups and consumer bodies to provide information amid continuing concerns that drivers are paying too much.”
"We are keenly aware of continuing widespread concern about the pump price of petrol and diesel and we have heard a number of different claims about how the market is operating," said Claire Hart, a director at the OFT. "We have therefore decided to take a broad based look at this sector, to provide an opportunity for people to share their concerns and evidence with us. This will help us determine whether claims about competition problems are well-founded and whether any further action is warranted."
The OFT, which estimates the retail road fuels sector to be worth around £32bn, said it would publish its findings in January next year.