Motorists continue to get a “raw deal” when it comes to filling up their vehicles at the pumps despite the recent fall in wholesale prices, a leading motoring organisation has said.
The average price of a litre of petrol was down by 12 pence last month – the biggest drop ever recorded – to bring some welcome respite to already hard-hit motorists. Yet despite this, it is still some way short of what the RAC considers to be fair.
New research shows the average price of a litre of unleaded is now under 170p – but the RAC believes average forecourt prices should be closer to the 161p mark given the recent reduction in wholesale prices.
The price cuts made by retailers in August meant the average cost of filling a 55-litre petrol car dropped £6.77, from £100.16 at the start of the month to £93.39 at the end.
Drivers of diesel vehicles saw a saving of 8.35 pence come off the average price of a litre to leave the pump price at the end of August at 183.71 pence. That shaved £4.59 from the total cost of filling up a 55-litre car than it did in July, with costs down from £105.63 to £101.04.
“Twelve pence a litre is a lot to come off prices in a single month so there is no doubt things could be worse, but in reality, drivers of petrol vehicles are still invariably getting a raw deal at the pumps,” said the RAC’s Rod Dennis.
“For whatever reason, major retailers are choosing not to pass on in full the reductions in the wholesale price of unleaded they have been benefiting from for some considerable time now – and this continues to mean drivers are often paying much more every time they fill up than they should.
“By the end of August wholesale prices were lower than they were at the start of the month, so even factoring in buying cycles there is a very strong case for the biggest sellers of fuel to cut their forecourt petrol prices further.
“Allowing for a generous 10p a litre margin, we should be seeing the petrol sold for around 161p a litre. Some big supermarket sites aren’t too far off charging this – but there’s a real postcode lottery out there with prices varying wildly depending on where a driver is in the country.
“Drivers must shop around for the best deal they can, and we applaud those independent retailers who are doing their best to charge a fairer price for fuel and support their local communities through this incredibly expensive time,” added Dennis.