UK's most expensive supermarket for petrol named in new data

A general view of a Asda petrol pump at Wolstanton Retail Park on May 07, 2021 in Stoke-on-Trent, England.
-Credit: (Image: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)


Asda has been named as the UK's priciest supermarket for fuel, according to a recent analysis by the RAC.

The report revealed that Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's were selling petrol at an average of 2.1p less per litre than Asda at the end of May. The gap was even wider when it came to diesel prices, with Asda charging an average of 2.5p more per litre.

For many years, Asda has had a reputation for offering the cheapest fuel and was often the first supermarket to reduce pump prices, the RAC noted. However, things changed after the supermarket was acquired by billionaire siblings, the Issa brothers, and private equity firm TDR Capital in 2021.

When Asda purchased the UK and Irish operations of petrol station giant EG Group owned by the Issa brothers in May last year, Mohsin Issa claimed the deal would allow him to offer "Asda's highly competitive fuel" to a larger customer base.

But a report published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in July last year suggested that Asda's target fuel margin the difference between what it paid for fuel and the pump price was set to be three times higher for 2023 compared with 2019.

A general view outside an Asda petrol station at Wolstanton Retail Park on May 07, 2021 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The Asda owners are set for a £6.8bn buyout as the Issa brothers prepare to sell 27 petrol stations to address any competition concerns.
STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 07: A general view outside an Asda petrol station at Wolstanton Retail Park on May 07, 2021 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The Asda owners are set for a £6.8bn buyout as the Issa brothers prepare to sell 27 petrol stations to address any competition concerns. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Despite this, TDR Capital managing director Gary Lindsay told the Commons' Business and Trade Committee in January that Asda did not have "a particular strategy to bump the price of fuel or to make a larger profit on fuel".

The RAC's analysis also found that across all UK forecourts, the average price of petrol fell by 2.4p per litre last month to 147.9p, while diesel prices dropped by 4.5p per litre to 153.6p.

RAC senior policy officer Rod Dennis expressed his concern over the slow decline in fuel prices despite a decrease in wholesale costs. He stated: "A month of decreasing fuel prices should be seen as a good one for drivers but the sheer time it is taking for any meaningful price reductions to reach forecourts is if anything a continuing cause of concern."

He further added: "When it comes to much-needed pump price cuts, it's sadly a case of too little too leisurely, with most drivers still getting a miserable deal every time they fill up. " He also noted that "We're once again in classic 'rocket and feather' territory, with pump prices only trickling down when they should really be falling like a stone.

"It's also interesting to see that Asda no longer holds the crown for selling the cheapest fuel despite the pledge made when it was subject to a merger a year ago. The other three major supermarkets, as well as some enterprising independents, now offer lower prices.

Asda, on the other hand, explained its different pricing strategy at its supermarket and "convenience" forecourts.

A spokesperson said: "Asda was the price leader in the supermarket fuel sector in May and we remain focused on providing our customers with the best value at the pumps as we grow in the convenience sector. In May, we reduced the price of unleaded and diesel by a combined average of 2.31p per litre and also announced that we are trialling earn on fuel on the Asda Rewards app, where users can get 0.5 per cent of their fuel spend back in their Asda Rewards Cashpot."

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