Independent petrol retailers cut prices to lure Brits as wholesale costs ease
Price competition has returned to the pumps, with independent forecourts challenging supermarkets and oil company-supplied sites with better petrol deals for Britain’s drivers.
The latest data from motoring group AA reveals that petrol prices have dipped to 160p per litre at smaller retailers – providing savings of up to 8p per litre.
This comes amid falling wholesale costs, which have been weighed down lower oil values and a stronger pound.
AA’s findings suggest that while Asda has been prepared to challenge in places with local competition, other supermarket brands have been happy to charge much more where local rivals haven’t pressured them.
This has allowed the independents further away to offer fuel at substantially cheaper prices.
Despite the difference in prices between independents and larger retailers, average prices are falling across the UK in recent weeks, after a 2p jump at the end of October.
Having averaged 164.47p a litre in the third week of October, petrol rose rapidly to 166.54p by the end of the month before falling away again to 164.42p by Monday – yesterday, it was down to 163.70p.
Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman said: “Together with pump prices falling in general, drivers who have located competitive forecourts on their travels may well have been able to save 10p a litre on petrol compared to what they had been paying a fortnight earlier.
On the flip-side, diesel is still 4.4p a litre cheaper on average at a supermarket than at non-supermarket fuel stations.
Prices for diesel continue to rise amid supply concerns and market tightness, with 20p-plus price gap.
A month ago, diesel prices averaged 187.08p a litre, but this climbed to 189.02p at the start of the week before dropping down to 188.12p yesterday.
Meanwhile, there are concerns that fuel duty could be hiked next March.
Tory MPs are demanding assurances from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt that he will not go ahead with a planned rise when the fuel duty cut expires next March, following projections it would add 12p per litre to petrol and diesel.
Hunt has not yet made a decision over whether to go ahead with the rise.
Fuel duty has been frozen at 52.95p a litre since 2011.
It was slashed by five pence earlier this year to give motorists a short-term reprieve from soaring petrol and diesel prices.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled the temporary 12-month cut at the spring statement in March, back when he was still Chancellor.
In its latest economic forecasts, the Office for Budget Responsibility calculated that the rise – which is pencilled in for next March – would bring in a record cash increase of £5.7bn if it goes ahead.