One of the UK’s leading motoring groups has urged the Government to provide more support for drivers, as petrol prices climbed to fresh records this weekend – despite a drop in wholesale prices.
RAC argued it was “time to take action” with fresh measures to ease the burden facing drivers.
The group’s fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We’ve been lobbying the Government for months to take further action to ease the financial burden caused by record pump prices. It’s time to take action and announce a further cut to duty or to VAT to help hard-pressed drivers and businesses.”
Unleaded petrol hit a new all-time high of 191.53p per litre, while diesel hung on to record levels at 199.03p a litre, having set a new peak of 199.07p on Friday.
This despite wholesale costs – the prices which retailers pay for petrol – falling since the Jubilee weekend last month, and have been down at least 5p a litre for more than a fortnight.
The RAC took aim at petrol retailers for failing to pass on these drops in prices to consumers, highlighting the role of supermarkets in the UK’s petrol market.
Williams said: “The big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, are standing firm with a litre of petrol at their stores costing an average of 190.19p. We would love to hear their reasoning for keeping their prices so high in this instance, but we’ve never known them publicly defend themselves. Far too often it’s the smallest retailers, who sell far less fuel combined despite having more forecourts, that stand up for the industry.”
Rival motoring group the AA has also slammed petrol retailers following the latest price hikes – with drivers missing out on cheaper prices ahead of peak driving season.
“It is an outrage, plain and simple, that the fuel trade could be slashing petrol prices as the nation heads towards the holiday season, but isn’t,” argued Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman.
He noted that petrol consumption has returned to 94 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the continued necessity of fuel for UK drivers.
Bosdet concluded: “That is incredible given the enormous pump-price pressure on drivers and underlines once again that road fuel is an essential expenditure for private car users and their families across the UK.”
The current crisis at the pumps has initiated protests across the UK, with activists targeting motorways in England, Wales and Scotland in demonstrations over high fuel prices.
Protestors are driving slowly across two lanes of motorways, leaving the outside lane free for drivers.
So far, the police has arrested one person for unsafe driving.