Drivers flock to Tesco forecourt selling petrol 20p cheaper

Drivers flock to Tesco forecourt that is selling petrol for 168.9p a litre – 20p cheaper than local rivals as national average hits another record high of 191.1p

  • There were queues at a petrol station this morning after its prices suddenly fell 
  • Tesco pump in Ely, Cambridgeshire, was 20p cheaper than the national average 
  • AA president Edmund King says government must step in to lower fuel prices
  • Figures show average price of a litre of petrol reached a peak of 191.1p yesterday

There were queues of drivers at a Tesco petrol station at Ely in Cambridgeshire today after its price of petrol dropped to 168.9p – significantly below the national average.

Motorists rushed to fill up at the forecourt after word spread that the fuel price had been drastically reduced by at least 20p below the national average.

It is 20p cheaper than the nearby Sainsbury’s petrol station in Ely at 188.9p and 21p cheaper than the nearest BP garage, which has a price of 189.9p.

Diesel is still selling for 199p at the Tesco petrol station.

It comes as many fuel retailers are facing accusations of profiteering as petrol prices hit new highs despite easing wholesale costs.

Consumer experts predict high fuel prices in to 2023 due to the conflict in the Ukraine, with the cost of filling up a family car now more than £100

Diesel car owners can expect to pay almost £2 a litre when they go to fill up 

Unleaded petrol reached a fresh record of 191.05p a litre in England on Sunday, while diesel hit new highs of 199.09p on Saturday.

Fuel prices have been driven up by the war in Ukraine and moves to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil. The cost of filling a family car is now more than £100.

AA president Edmund King said the Government must step in to lower prices, stating that drivers face an ‘urgent situation’.

Figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.1p yesterday, up by a fraction of a penny from Sunday.

Prices have continued to rise despite the wholesale cost of petrol being around 5p per litre cheaper than early June peaks.

The wholesale cost of diesel has stabilised in recent days.

But average pump prices of the fuel reached a record 199.1p per litre on Saturday, falling slightly to 199.0p per litre on Monday.

In a nod to Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 dark comedy Pulp Fiction, Mr King said: ‘Pump prices are now more like “pump fiction” as they don’t reflect the general downward trends we have been seeing in wholesale prices.

Petrol prices reached record figures this week despite a fall in the wholesale price of petrol. The wholesale price includes product cost and fuel duty. The retail price includes product cost, fuel duty, delivery and distribution, retail margin (forecourt costs and retailer’s profit) and VAT. 

‘This is now an urgent situation. The Prime Minister has hinted at action but we need more than hints.

‘Pressure to force price transparency and a cut in duty would be a step in the right direction.’

The concept of rocket and feather pricing for fuel involves retailers quickly hiking pump prices when the cost of oil rises, but being slow to pass on the benefits of decreases in oil prices.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘We are struggling to see how retailers can justify continuing to put up their unleaded prices as the wholesale cost of petrol has reduced significantly.

‘This is sadly a classic example of rocket and feather pricing in action, and one which the Competition and Markets Authority will no doubt be looking at very closely.

‘It seems as if retailers are making matters worse for themselves by not lowering their forecourt prices despite having a clear opportunity to do so.’

A driver looks at the petrol pump at a petrol station in London earlier this month

He added: ‘We strongly hope pump prices have peaked for the time being and will now start to decrease in line with wholesale prices which reduced last week.

‘That, however, is in the hands of retailers.’

A 5p per litre reduction in fuel duty implemented by the Treasury in March has not stopped pump prices from soaring.

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority launched a ‘short and focused review’ of how much drivers are being charged for fuel after a request by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Conservative former minister Esther McVey said a 5p cut in fuel duty ‘didn’t really touch the sides’ and called for a reduction of at least 20p per litre.

The MP for Tatton in Cheshire told the Commons: ‘I appreciate the Chancellor cut fuel duty by 5p per litre, but that didn’t really touch the sides.

‘So can I urge him to be bolder and cut duty by at least 20p per litre as requested by Fair Fuel UK, and which would make a huge difference to individuals and businesses in my patch, not least hauliers where the cost of running a single truck has raised by 17% in the last year?’

Treasury minister Helen Whately said: ‘I hear my right honourable friend’s request there. I will say to her that the combination of the freeze on fuel duty in the Budget and then the cut in the spring statement is essentially a £5 billion tax cut.

‘So this really is substantial support to businesses with the cost of fuel. As I’ve also said, we are taking further steps to support businesses.’ 

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