Fuel costs rise above levels set before the 5p tariff cut amid allegations retailers are exploiting customers
Figures from both the RAC and data specialists Experian Catalist show that the cost of filling up an average family car with petrol is now £92.20, while diesel drivers pay £99.50.
The new figures come a day after the RAC announced retailers have increased their profit margins since the fuel tax was cut by 2p a liter and as the Business Secretary wrote to the industry to urge businesses to treat drivers fairly.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the latest hikes are helping to deepen the cost-of-living crisis and are all the more notable as they mean prices are now higher than before the fuel tax cut, which was intended to ease the pressure on motorists.
He said: “While the average price of both petrol and diesel would have been much higher without the historic tariff reduction, it is also unfortunately the case that drivers have not seen the full benefit at the pumps as major retailers have increased their margins. “
The previous record high for petrol was 167.3p and was recorded on March 22, the day before the fuel tax cut. Diesel prices topped their previous record on Monday, hitting 180.3p before rising to 180.9p on Tuesday.
RAC data shows fuel distributors have increased their profit margins since March 23 from 9p a liter for petrol and 6p for diesel to 11p and 8p respectively.
AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet criticized retailers for not passing on the savings from the fuel tax cut. He said: “Despite his best efforts, the Chancellor must feel like King Canute trying to turn back the tide of rising pump prices.
“At least he can say British drivers would be even worse off now if he hadn’t tried to take action in March.
“It hasn’t been helped by a fuel trade which, despite a 16p-a-litre drop in petrol costs to coincide with the spring declaration, has failed to even pass on the full 5p fuel tax cut and associated 1p VAT cut it has brought with it. “
On Tuesday Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng wrote to fuel distributors to remind them of their responsibility to customers, asking why the fuel tax cut did not appear to have been passed on “in any visible or meaningful way”.
He wrote: “The Chancellor and I therefore want to once again underline and communicate our expectation that the members will do everything possible to ensure that motorists are treated fairly nationwide.”
He also warned that his department had spoken to the Competition and Markets Authority about “perceived intransigence” over pricing and that the regulator was “closely monitoring” the situation.
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent service stations, blamed rising oil prices, lower demand and “extra costs” for the apparent discrepancy between prices and profit margins.
Managing director, Gordon Balmer, said comparing pump prices to wholesale prices “only gives a partial picture” and retailers are competing for the “thinnest of margins”.
https://www.nationalworld.com/lifestyle/cars/petrol-and-diesel-prices-hit-new-record-highs-3698690 Gasoline and diesel prices reach new record highs