Posted: Mon 27th Feb 2023

Fuel retailers slammed for taking advantage of diesel drivers with almost 20p margin

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 27th, 2023

Diesel drivers in the UK are paying a massive 20p per litre more for fuel compared to petrol drivers, despite there being little difference between the two fuels on the wholesale market, according to a new analysis by the RAC Fuel Watch.

The wholesale price of diesel was just 6p more than petrol last week, yet diesel vehicle drivers have to pay 168p a litre, compared to just 148p for unleaded.

The RAC has calculated that if diesel was being sold at a fairer rate, drivers would be paying no more than around 155p per litre, which would make the cost of filling an average 55-litre family car £7 less than it is today.

RAC analysis shows that retailers are currently taking more than double the margin on every litre of diesel they sell, at just shy of a whopping 20p, compared to the 8.5p on unleaded.

This has the effect of subsiding petrol prices by charging more for diesel.

The RAC is calling on retailers to urgently cut the price of diesel to fairer levels, following the lead of membership-only retailer Costco, which this week lopped 4p off diesel at its sites across the UK, meaning it is now charging an average of 154.7p.

This is 13p less than the UK average and 11.5p less than the average at the UK’s big four supermarkets.

The RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said, “While our data shows petrol is generally being sold at a fair price at forecourts at the moment, drivers of the country’s 12m diesel cars – as well as almost every white van driver – have every right to feel hard done by as they’re paying a huge premium for the fuel which in no way reflects its lower wholesale cost.”

He added, “The fact membership-only retailer Costco has been able to cut the average price of a litre of diesel by a massive 4p this week shows what’s possible, but we badly need other fuel retailers to treat drivers of diesel vehicles fairly.”

Even though the price of diesel is not being cut as quickly as it should be, the gap between the average prices of petrol and diesel has dropped to under 20p for the first time since 10 October 2022.

If retailers now do the right thing, this should reduce significantly, saving drivers who rely on diesel a lot of money every time they fill up.

The RAC’s analysis highlights a persistent issue with fuel pricing in the UK.

While petrol prices have seen some stability in recent years, diesel prices have been consistently higher, even when the wholesale prices between the two fuels are almost identical.

This is likely due to factors such as demand, taxation, and the cost of refining and transporting diesel.

However, as the RAC’s analysis shows, the current gap between diesel and petrol prices is simply too wide, and diesel drivers are being unfairly penalised.

With the cost of living already high in the UK, it is important for fuel retailers to cut the price of diesel and offer a fairer deal to all drivers.

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