AMID the worst cost-of-living crisis in four decades, drivers are being denied cheaper fuel by the UK’s biggest retailers, according to the RAC.
RAC Fuel Watch data shows supermarkets are currently enjoying margins of around 15p a litre on both petrol and diesel while hard-pressed drivers have to fork out for petrol at an unnecessarily high average price of 160.96p and 184.41p for diesel – which is only 2p lower than the UK average of 163.24p for unleaded and 3p lower for diesel (187.42p).
If the supermarkets were to be taking a lower average margin of 10p a litre on both fuels, they would be selling petrol for 152p and diesel for 173p – around 9p less for petrol than they are currently and 11p less for diesel, the motoring group claims.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “With many people struggling to put fuel in their cars it’s very sad to see the biggest fuel retailers taking advantage of their customers by charging far higher prices than they should be.
“This is unfortunately a perfect example of prices falling like a feather, the opposite of them rocketing up as soon as the wholesale price rises significantly.
“The supermarkets dominate UK fuel retailing, primarily because they have traditionally sold petrol and diesel at lower prices due to the large volumes they sell, but sadly there is now a remarkable lack of competition among the main players which means prices are far higher than they should be.”