Petrol prices rose for the first time in eight months in June just days after the competition regulator found supermarkets hiked up fuel prices last year.
Unleaded increased by nearly a penny (0.7p) to 143.9p, while diesel came down by 1.2p to 145.46p at the end of month, marking eight consecutive monthly reductions, according to breakdown firm the RAC.
The RAC’s data also shows that on average, retailers are making a margin of around 12p a litre on petrol and 13p on diesel compared to historical margins of 7p – which it said further underlined the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) findings earlier in the week.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “June marked the end of the price of petrol falling at the pumps, purely because retailers are taking more margin per litre than they used to.”
“Looking at the wholesale price of both petrol and diesel which is almost identical, average forecourt prices should be 5p lower for petrol and 6p for diesel.”
Motoring groups had been arguing for years that supermarkets’ wholesale fuel costs merited price reductions at the pumps, and said today that retailers were refusing “to pass on wholesale savings in favour of taking bigger margins”.
Monday’s bombshell sparked uproar from politicians and industry figures, who called for a “fix” to supermarkets inflating fuel prices to more than what they should be.
Energy minister Graham Stuart said that motorists should “not be used as cash cows” by the fuel industry and that he was “shocked.”
As a result of the investigation, supermarkets will in future be forced to publish live information on their fuel prices, to ensure customers are able to get a fair price. A new ‘fuel monitoring body’ could also be introduced to “hold industry to account.”
In the meantime, the RAC today encouraged consumers to use its own free tool – as part of its myRAC app – to track fuel prices.
Williams said: “Having been monitoring the price of fuel for years, we know how much prices can vary from one forecourt to another, so we were determined to give drivers an easy way to make sure they get the best deal possible at the pumps.”