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Supermarkets overcharging drivers for petrol, RAC warns

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Drivers filling up their automobiles at supermarkets are being overcharged by as a lot as 5p per litre as retailers fail to go on falling wholesale prices, the RAC has warned.

Historically supermarkets provide the bottom gasoline costs, however the RAC discovered these outlets had been currently selling petrol at rates barely below the national average.

It comes as the worth hole between petrol and diesel reached a report excessive of 24.5p a litre. Yesterday, The Telegraph revealed the hole meant petrol automobiles at the moment are cheaper to run, regardless of being much less gasoline environment friendly.

The corporate has now referred to as on supermarkets to “do the suitable factor by their prospects” and slash costs by 5p per litre.

RAC knowledge confirmed the worth of wholesale unleaded rose to £1.30 per litre in mid-October whereas diesel rose to round £1.58. Each costs have since dropped considerably – to £1.17 and £1.36 respectively as of November 18.

Nevertheless, the RAC discovered supermarkets had been nonetheless having fun with margins of roughly 15p per litre on each petrol and diesel, forcing drivers to “fork out for petrol at an unnecessarily excessive fee”. A typical margin is 7p a litre, specialists stated.

If supermarkets had been to scale back their margins to 10p per litre, the RAC calculated, they’d promote petrol and diesel at a fee of £1.52 and £1.73 per litre – a discount of 9p and 11p respectively on present costs.

The typical worth on the pump throughout British supermarkets is £1.61 per litre for petrol and £1.84 for diesel, solely 2p and 3p decrease than the nationwide common.

Whereas the worth of gasoline has fallen in latest weeks, drivers are bracing for greater prices with chancellor Jeremy Hunt leaving the door open to a possible rise in gasoline obligation. Final week’s Autumn Assertion made no point out of the levy, prompting Tory MPs to put in writing to the Chancellor urging him to freeze or minimize the tax as a substitute.

Simon Williams, of the RAC, accused gasoline retailers of “taking benefit” of shoppers by charging “far greater costs than they need to be”.

He stated: “That is sadly an ideal instance of costs falling like a feather, the alternative of them rocketing up as quickly because the wholesale worth rises considerably.”

Mr Williams stated a scarcity of competitors among the many largest gamers had resulted in fuel remaining expensive despite the fall in wholesale prices. He stated smaller impartial forecourts had been typically providing extra aggressive charges than these at main supermarkets and that drivers ought to store round for the perfect costs.

He stated: “If one of many supermarkets had been to guide a spherical of worth cuts, the others would observe swimsuit which, in flip, would deliver the common worth of gasoline down for the advantage of drivers all over the place.”

Mr Williams stated Asda was sometimes the most affordable grocery store for gasoline. He stated: “Asda has historically been essentially the most aggressive grocery store on gasoline costs.”

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