Some reaction from the RAC as the UK continues to suffer some of the highest pump prices in the world.
Petrol, real E5 petrol that is, not the diluted E10 stuff, is generally higher than in many other key markets. The story on diesel is even more suspect, with pump prices still hovering around £1.45-£1.50 per litre. It’s a different story elsewhere and we don’t just mean Saudi Arabia where the stuff is cheaper than Aldi water. In Romania for example diesel is currently 1 euro 31 cents (approx £1.14). In Turkey, which has suffered food inflation of about 80% in 2022, the diesel price per litre is just 86p.
This artificially high UK pump price affects the cost of every insurance claim too. Recovery vehicles are usually 25-30mpg diesel powered, tradespersons who repair damaged property drive diesel vans, loss adjustors often drive hybrid or diesel cars. It’s worth explaining to policyholders that claims, and therefore premiums, have to rise partly because UK fuel prices are staying mysteriously high, with a huge margin of fuel duty and VAT on top. The global wholesale price keeps dropping, but the pump price remains suspiciously high.
Why do Brits put up with being fleeced by retailers and government alike? Who can say, but the RAC has some strong views on it.
Here’s the word;
The Competition and Markets Authority has today confirmed that retailer margins on fuel have increased. The CMA is also concerned there is evidence of weaker competition in diesel, as compared with petrol, since the beginning of 2023. In addition, it is going to conduct formal interviews with the supermarkets’ senior management in order to get to the heart of the issues.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We are very pleased to hear that the Competition and Markets Authority has confirmed what we have been saying for a long time about the biggest retailers taking more margin per litre on fuel than they have in the past. Currently, the average price of diesel is more than 20p a litre overpriced simply because they refuse to cut their prices. The wholesale price of diesel is actually 4p lower than petrol, yet across the country it is being sold for 9p a litre more – 154.31p compared to 144.95p for unleaded.
“Something badly needs to change to give drivers who depend on their vehicles every day a fair deal at the pumps. We hope even better news will be forthcoming later this summer.”