Petrol and diesel owners visiting fuel pumps in next few days issued new warning

Petrol and diesel drivers could see dramatic price changes at fuel stations after retailers were handed a telling-off by officials.

Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho demanded prices remained “fair” with families still struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The Conservative MP even stressed she would “not hesitate” to name supermarkets or petrol stations which were fleecing customers.

She has also urged Government officials to push ahead with a Pumpwatch scheme to better monitor prices across the country.

Her stern warning comes after the RAC raised fears that costs were unacceptably high with many companies profiteering.

READ MORE RAC wants petrol retailers to cut price by 5p a litre

In a letter to fuel retailers, Ms Coutinho said: “With the current global situation, it is as important as ever that consumers can trust businesses to remain fair in their approach to pricing.

“I know that families are continuing to face cost of living pressures and it is important that retailers pass on fuel price savings at the pump as quickly as possible.

“I will be monitoring prices closely to ensure this happens. Alongside this, if the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) observes any concerning behaviour in the market, it will not hesitate to highlight this in its interim monitoring which the CMA expects to publish every four months and will consider use of its formal powers where appropriate.

“This includes opening a further market study or making further recommendations to Government to tackle anti-competitive behaviour. I will not hesitate to call out unfair retailers.”

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Last week the RAC urged the UK’s biggest fuel retailers to slash costs by at least 5p per litre as customer prices were higher than wholesale prices.

They revealed the average price of unleaded petrol to consumers was around 155.33p per litre, wildly above the wholesale fee of just 113p.

The RAC says this would give retailers a margin of around 16p per litre before VAT is applied.

These numbers would be massively higher than the long-term average of around 7p per litre.

RAC chiefs also warn that diesel costs were around 4p per litre too expensive in a major blow to motorists.

Over the summer, the CMA found that the big four supermarkets had overcharged drivers by 6p a litre in 2022, costing road users around £900million. Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman said Britons were being “ripped off” at the fuel pumps.

He explained: “We badly need the Government to set up the price monitoring body recommended by the CMA and for it to carry powers to take action against big retailers that don’t reflect downward movements in the wholesale market such as we’ve been experiencing in the last six weeks.

“We have informed the Treasury that its 5p duty cut isn’t helping drivers as intended and we’re now calling on the big four supermarkets, which lead the retail market by virtue of the fact they sell around half of all the fuel bought by drivers, to explain their steadfast refusal to cut prices to fairer levels.”

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