Apr 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Drivers being 'ripped off for petrol'

Motorists are being ripped off by petrol companies, the AA has claimed, as falling oil prices are not being reflected at the pump. The price of oil has crashed in recent days, leaving the wholesale price of petrol bobbing around the 16p a litre mark, according to the AA. But the average pump price for unleaded has remained around the £1.10 mark, inching only slightly below that this week. Each litre sold of petrol includes fuel duty at 57.95p a litre - the retailers' margin - plus VAT. The AA reckons petrol sellers should be happy with a margin of 9p a litre, which would make the average pump price of petrol around £1 a litre when the wholesale price is 16p. "Instead, the average pump price is higher because retailers say they need to charge 10p a litre more to offset the lower volumes of fuel they are selling," said the AA's fuel spokesperson Luke Bosdet. Petrol prices are cheapest at supermarkets where chains keep prices low to attract shoppers into their stores. "In theory petrol prices could fall below £1 per litre if the lower wholesale costs were reflected at the pumps, but at the same time people are driving very few miles, so they're selling vastly lower quantities of petrol and diesel at the moment," pointed out RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

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