Petrol pumps not passing cut in wholesale diesel prices to motorists

diesel  A customer fuels her car with unleaded petrol at a Morrisons supermarket in Coalville, central England, October 15, 2008. Supermarket chain Morrisons have cut the price of petrol on their forecourts to below £1 ($1.744) for the first time since December last year.   REUTERS/Darren Staples   (BRITAIN)
Drivers should be seeing savings when filling their diesel engines but RAC says that is not happening. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

Diesel is being sold for around 17p a litre more on average than petrol at forecourts across the UK, despite wholesale prices being on par.

The average price of a litre of petrol is 146.63p while diesel is priced at 164.26p, according to RAC Fuel Watch.

Drivers should be seeing savings when filling their diesel engines as both fuels are selling for around 114.5p on the wholesale market. The RAC said that on two days last week wholesale diesel was actually cheaper than petrol.

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RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The forecourt price disparity between petrol and diesel across the UK is absolutely shocking given their wholesale prices are now virtually identical.

“At the beginning of March, wholesale diesel was only 6p more expensive than petrol yet there was a 20p-a-litre gap between both fuels on the forecourt.

“Now the two fuels are identical on the wholesale market, and there’s still more than 17p difference at the pump.”

Since the beginning of March the average weekly wholesale price of diesel has fallen 5p a litre while unleaded has remained the same.

Williams added: “Considering supermarket prices are usually around 4p cheaper than the UK average, their customers should have been seeing prices under 150p weeks ago.

“As the supermarkets buy so frequently they have had plenty of time to pass on the lower prices they are benefitting from on the wholesale market to drivers at the pumps, but they remain totally resolute in their refusal to cut their prices substantially which is nothing short of scandalous, particularly in a cost of living crisis.

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“Since the beginning of March, they have only reduced diesel by just over 3p a litre.

RAC highlighted one national retailer prepared to buck this trend, membership-only chain Costco, which is charging just under 150p a litre for diesel at the moment.

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