Fuel retailers urged to cut pump prices as wholesale prices drop

Published 30 June 2022
  • Average price of petrol now 191.25p-per-litre and diesel 199.02p.
  • Fuel retailers urged to cut fuel prices by 5p-per-litre now that wholesale prices have dropped. 
  • Pressure mounts on the Government to do more to support motorists. 

Fuel retailers are being urged to cut pump prices now that the wholesale price of both fuels has dropped. 

Average fuel prices yesterday (29 June 2022) were barely changed from the previous day with petrol at 191.25p-per-litre, compared to 191.24p the day before (28 June 2022) and diesel at 199.02p (compared to 199.01p).

However, the RAC suggests that prices are still above where they should be, given that wholesales prices have fallen in recent weeks. 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "As we have been saying for over a week there is now a compelling case for major retailers to cut the price of petrol to reflect lower wholesale costs. Our analysis shows the average cost of a litre of petrol is considerably overpriced. Drivers really should be paying around 186p per litre – five pence less than they are today – if wholesale prices were being reflected fairly at the pumps. This would see the cost of filling a 55-litre family car drop by £3, from £105 to a fairer £102.” 

Petrol Pumps

Retailers accused of ‘rocket and feather’ pricing

Williams accused retailers of so-called ‘rocket and feather’ pricing – where retailers are quick to put up their prices in a rising market but slow to reduce them.

“Major retailers really need to cut their prices now, and going forwards they need to reduce them as soon as wholesale prices drop to give drivers confidence they’re not being taken for a ride every time they fill up,” he said. 

However, Gordon Balmer, director of the Petrol Retailers' Association (RPA), defended the margins that fuel retailers have been making. 

He said: “Independent fuel retailers need to have around 10.0ppl to operate their business. This year average fuel margins have been about half of that and this is in the context of reduced fuel sales and rising labour and energy costs. Our members monitor their competitors’ prices all the time to ensure that they as pricing fuel as competitively as possible.”

Car On Coins

Call for 20p-per-litre fuel duty cut 

Pressure is mounting on the Government to go further than the 5p fuel duty cut announced in the Spring Statement to help drivers, particularly those who rely on their cars to get to work.

Campaign group Fair Fuel UK is calling for a fuel duty cut of at least 20p per litre, pointing out that other European countries have gone further than the UK Government’s 5p cut. 

Earlier this week both the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak hinted that more might be done by the Government to cut fuel prices. 

Williams said that such a move “can’t come soon enough”. 

“Suggestions that the Government might be about to announce more support for hard-pressed drivers are welcome,” he said. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently carrying out a ‘short and focused review' of the fuel market, and will provide advice to the UK Government on steps that might be taken to improve outcomes for consumers across the UK, as requested by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

What factors determine fuel prices?

Wholesale fuel prices help determine how much you pay at the pumps, although fuel retailers have a part to play as they can choose to cut or increase prices. 

The Government can also influence price by what it sets the fuel duty at. Currently it is set at currently 52.95p-per-litre, following a 5p cut in the Spring Statement. VAT at the standard 20 per cent rate is also added to every forecourt fuel transaction. 

The other factors influencing wholesale fuel prices are: the global price of crude oil; supply and demand for crude oil; oil refinery production and capacity; the pound to dollar exchange rate, as refined fuel is sold in US dollars per metric tonne; distribution costs; and the margin fuel retailers decide to take. 

Where can I find the cheapest fuel prices near me?

Generally, the big four supermarkets (Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco) have the cheapest fuel prices. Motorway service stations, in contrast, are usually the most expensive place to fill up. 

Ask HJ

Can I put E10 fuel in my Golf R?

My Volkswagen Golf R is recommended to run on super unleaded 98 RON which is now super expensive. I know the performance and mpg might drop slightly if I use 95 RON E10 fuel but will it damage the engine at all?
It won't damage the engine by using 95 RON fuel, the car will adjust itself to the new fuel via the ECU but it will reduce the power output and engine response because your car is tuned and designed to run 98 RON. Expect slightly worse MPG, too. Why not try one of the cheaper supermarket high octane fuels? Tesco's 99 Momentum, for example, is recommended by many and is often only 6p/7p a litre more than 95.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions
Ask HJ

Should I buy an electric, diesel or petrol vehicle or keep my current car?

I don't know what to do about purchasing a new car. Should I buy an electric, diesel or petrol vehicle? I have heard from various friends who have purchased electric vehicles of many teething problems and faults but where I live today some fuel stations are out of petrol and diesel. I personally feel with the uncertainty at present I will keep my 2016 vehicle until I feel more confident of what's happening next. I imagine many other people are in the same position. What's your view?
There's certainly nothing wrong with keeping your 2016 vehicle for now – it'll have lots of life left in it and you'll be avoiding the current turbulent car market. If you do wish to change, you need to look at factors like how many miles you cover a year and what kind of driving you do. If you spend all of your time on the motorway, covering more than 12,000 miles a year, a diesel still makes sense. Otherwise, we'd recommend a petrol, hybrid or electric alternative. Can you charge a car at home (i.e. have access to off-road parking with electricity)? If you do, and you rarely travel further than, say, 200 miles in a day, then now could be the right time to swap to an electric car.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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Tony77    on 23 May 2022

With the cost of petrol and diesel nowdays and seems to be going up and up, thank goodness that both of my cars run on LPG at around 80p a litre. I've got no idea why more people don't consider lpg

exodice    on 23 May 2022

The price of fuel is determined entirely by the greed of our suppliers.There is no shortage of fuel.They charge the current price because they can get away with it. The truth that there is no shortage is proven by the obscene profits they are making. If they were struggling to get the product,they wouldnt be making the huge profits. They certainly should be hit with a windfall tax and keep being taxed at a punitive rate whilst their profits are so exorbitant, and only reduced when they reduce their profit margins.

shauncwalsh    on 9 June 2022

The price of fuel is determined entirely by the greed of our suppliers.There is no shortage of fuel.They charge the current price because they can get away with it. The truth that there is no shortage is proven by the obscene profits they are making. If they were struggling to get the product,they wouldnt be making the huge profits. They certainly should be hit with a windfall tax and keep being taxed at a punitive rate whilst their profits are so exorbitant, and only reduced when they reduce their profit margins.

The price is determined by supply vs demand. Since supplies of Russian crude oil have virtually ceased there is currently more demand than can be met therefore the price of crude oil has increased and the crude oil suppliers are making large profits. The refiners have to pay the higher cost of crude oil or they don't have anything to refine this is then passed on to the consumer or they make a loss. If the refiners didn't pay the market price then the crude oil would be sold to another country and there wouldn't be any fuel at the pumps.

Liz Allen    on 23 May 2022

It's at 174 per liter unleaded here in Carlisle.

jchinuk    on 24 May 2022

I saw £1.73.9 in near Cambridge at the weekend, I didn't note the diesel price, but it was in the high £1.80s

Brian rowe    on 23 May 2022

My Local BP Garage in Liskeard Cornwall, BP Ultimate £2.09 ltr which is recommended for my vehicle. I've complained about the extortionate price, with a local Morrison's just around the corner it makes you sick.

Paul Jenkinz    on 24 May 2022

With the cost of petrol and diesel nowadays and seems to be going up and up, thank goodness that both of my cars run on LPG at around 80p a litre. I've got no idea why more people don't consider lpg

Yes Tony you ae totally right LPG or liquid petroleum gas used to be called the wonder fuel some stations are now removing lpg pumps because it doesnt warrant the pumps staying there because they are rarely used people seem to be switching to lower carbon fuels instead which is a bit bonkers because it costs a lot more

Michael David Greenhill    on 24 May 2022

Some years ago oil was over 140+usd per barrel. The price at the pump was much less than it is now.
Not entirely sure why.
The biggest winner is the government with their very high tax and vat on top. This should be cut or the vat removed. A windfall tax is not the answer, smacks of socialism and where would it end.

shauncwalsh    on 9 June 2022

Crude oil prices briefly spiked at 140 usd a barrel in June 2008, in the last 14 years inflation has pushed other costs up by around 34% so factors such as labour costs and capital costs are higher now and contributing to the increased cost of fuel even though the crude oil prices are slightly lower.

The Lazy Trumpeter    on 26 May 2022

It has been £1.759 in the New Forest area for a couple of weeks, highest I've seen off motorway was £1.859 last weekend. Disgrace the Government aren't clamping down on these cowboys.

conman    on 30 May 2022

Don't forget more than half the price of petrol and diesel is tax and goes to Mr Sunak pockets.
So with the massive increase, the government could reduce VAT by 5% and still get the same money as before the massive price rises.

Paul Jenkinz    on 3 June 2022

A lot of stations are taking LPG pumps away now due to lack of use

Tenchman7    on 6 June 2022

Just paid £1.929 a litre for Shell V-Power petrol in Norwich and feeling rather rinsed by the experience. This works out to £8.75 a gallon in old money!! Alarming!.

Edited by Tenchman7 on 06/06/2022 at 16:36

The Lazy Trumpeter    on 7 June 2022

It's already over £1.80 a litre in Ringwood.

£1.849 at Shell Blashford and a whopping £1.979 at Texaco on Christchurch Road Ringwood.

Barry Oakley    on 9 June 2022

Re Supermarket fuel, there's often the suggestion that fuel sold by the major supermarkets is inferior to that sold from the forecourts of the major fuel companies, Shell, BP, Esso etc. Is supermarket fuel inferior in not including the same level of detergents, etc.

hissingsid    on 11 June 2022

I have always used supermarket fuel, and do not believe the conspiracy theory that it is inferior to the branded products.
Every Friday in the late 1960's I would buy 8 gallons of Jet for £2 on my way home from work. That lasted for a week's motoring.
None of my cars have ever had any problems relateing to the fuel used.

   on 15 June 2022

All out of date already, Petrol today at Asda was £1.80/Litre, £1.90 for diesel. Jumped not 2p a litre but 5p from 13/06 to 14/06. BP petrol is sitting at £1.90/Litre, diesel £1.92/3 although that's bound to rise. Also jumped 5p a litre just over a week ago. On 06/06, BP Petrol was £1.78/litre...and so it goes on.

Back in December I bought BP Ultimate, just for the hell of it for the month. It was £1.49 normal E10, Ultimate £1.63...I've not dared look at the Ultimate recently as it was nearly £2.00/litre around mid March.

Oh well, let's keep the speed down to around 60mph on the dual carriageway and try not to get run down by folks in a greater hurry..!


conman    on 18 June 2022

Don't worry about anything with SUNAK still taking 83p tax out of every litre of petrol he'll so be able to reduce the fuel price by another 2p soon.

hissingsid    on 20 June 2022

Today I filled up with E10 at Morrisons for £1.847 per litre.
Despite the price increases the M5 was as busy as ever.

Mr halfsing    on 20 June 2022

This government want do enything that what happens when people vote conservative they make you poor

Mr halfsing    on 20 June 2022

That what happens when you vote conservative party they just make you poor

Odefrt    on 21 June 2022

£2.029 at my local Shell for e5

paul mack    on 21 June 2022

TBH I get a tad racked off with articles like this, we do not need reminding about the way this Government and the Fuel companies continue with their Legalised Burglaries.
I think your time would be better suited by targeting said Legalised Burglars with hard hitting journalism to bring about TAX CUTS on fuel.
To only are we one of the most highly taxed countries in the world (I believe) we are certainly the highest on fuel!
This would be of far more importance to me.

Donald Mackenzie    on 21 June 2022

when I bought a gallon of petrol for my lawnmower in the Highlands last week I realised it had cost me more than I paid for my first student car in 1959 ( a 1935 Ford 8 which ran for several years)

hissingsid    3 days ago

There is nothing "inexplicable" about the continuing rise in fuel prices.
The explanation is very simple. The industry is charging whatever they think the consumer will pay, safe in the knowledge that the government will not intervene.
Why would they when the higher the price, the higher the tax yield.

Sandeep Patel    2 days ago

With petrol and Diesal to be banned in several years, Fuel stations will milk it and milk it they are. Unfair but you cant really blame them.

minieggs    2 days ago

Despite the rhetoric, the Government has no vested interest in seeing the price of fuel drop. The billions in extra VAT and duty receipts because of the current cost of fuel will mean they will be slow to react to any calls to take action.

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