Huge difference in petrol station pricing just five miles apart as drivers suffer

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As the country suffers under the highest petrol and diesel prices ever seen, drivers are having to hope for the best when choosing where to fill up, with retailers failing to offer the same prices even at stations within a few miles of each other.

The issue was highlighted by two Esso sites in Liverpool just a few miles apart.

The Esso facility in Maghull this week advertised unleaded petrol at 141.9 pence per litre, while diesel was being sold at 147.9 pence per litre.

But just over four miles away in Country Road in Ormskirk, the Esso petrol station was offering unleaded petrol for 149.9 pence per litre, with Diesel at 152.9 pence a litre.

That represents a whopping eight pence per litre of unleaded, a difference of almost £5 for a full tank in the average car.

The disparities come as petrol prices in the UK hit the highest levels in history.

According to the AA, petrol jumped to 148.02p per litre last Sunday – beating the previous record high of 147.72p in November last year.

And diesel costs have followed suit, rising to a new record high of 151.57p per litre.

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesperson said: “The cost of living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases.”

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Global prices of oil are rising due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the ongoing uncertainty in the region.

The RAC suggested that drivers were on a “knife-edge” with the rising petrol and diesel costs as well as the impact of rising household bills.

The cost of oil has increased by more than 60 percent in the last 12 months due to issues with supply and demand thanks to the pandemic and the tensions in Eastern Europe.

Despite this, retailers have already increased pump prices by around 1p per litre in February alone, with many calling on them to make allowances to prevent drivers from being overcharged further.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Petrol has unfortunately hit a frightening new high of 148.02p, which takes filling a 55-litre family car to an eye-watering £81.41.

“With the oil price teetering on the brink of $100 a barrel and retailers keen to pass on the increase in wholesale fuel quickly, new records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks.”

Mr Williams urged fuel retailers not to make the financial burden on motorists even worse by increasing their profit margins.

He said: “On a positive note, retailer margins – which were the reason drivers paid overly high prices in December and January – have now returned to more normal levels of around 7p a litre.”

He added: “We urge the big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, to play fair with drivers and not to make a bad situation on the forecourt any worse by upping their margins again.”

Profit margins on petrol for the largest four supermarkets in the UK have tripled in three years, it was revealed this week.

Margins widened to 8.6 percent last month compared to 3.2 percent in 2019.

The jump in the cost of oil has allowed them to raise prices at the pumps resulting in hugely increased revenue. has reached out to Esso for comment. 

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