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Tips to find the best fuel prices as supermarkets criticised for failing to pass savings to drivers

Tips to find the best fuel prices as supermarkets criticised for failing to pass savings to drivers

(Posted on 15/11/18)

The price of fuel remains sky high and the RAC has criticised supermarkets for failing to pass on savings to drivers.

Wholesale costs have fallen but despite promising price cuts of up to 2p per litre off unleaded less than a penny has come off the average price of a litre at supermarket forecourts.

Wholesale petrol prices have fallen by nearly 9p per litre since the start of October as the price of oil has fallen by $20 a barrel but only 1.56p per litre has come off the average price of a litre of unleaded at UK supermarkets.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Put simply, the big retailers have not gone nearly far enough in cutting prices at the pumps, despite the fact the cost of buying the fuel on the wholesale market has dropped like a stone.

“The net result is Christmas coming early for retailers, as they are making considerably higher profits from every litre of fuel, they sell now than they normally do. But drivers, many of whom we know rely on their vehicles, continue to suffer from over-inflated prices at the pumps.

“Drivers have a right to feel taken advantage of right now. Wholesale petrol prices are tumbling, yet retailers are steadfastly refusing to drop prices and charge a fair price on forecourts across the UK. And without significant price movement from the supermarkets, there is little to encourage smaller retailers to shift their own prices to the benefit of consumers.

“We will be among the first to welcome price cuts from the supermarkets, but our data shows that something is clearly awry with petrol pricing at the moment and drivers should be seeing 5p per litre reductions across the country. Diesel prices should also now be starting to fall, again triggered by the drop in the cost of oil.”

How drivers can find the best price at the pumps in the run-up to Christmas

Look for deals

Some supermarkets run promotions, offering a significant discount on the cost of petrol and diesel after spending a set amount in-store. Make use of these to bring the price you pay down.

Always compare to the average price

The RAC Fuel Watch website carries the latest average prices for petrol and diesel. Try to ensure you pay no more than the average price per litre when you fill up.

Aim for competitive sites

Locations with a selection of fuel retailers that are reasonably close together generally have more competitive pricing – several supermarkets in a similar location almost a guarantee a good deal on fuel. Conversely, isolated petrol stations, whether operated by a supermarket or not, can charge significantly more.

Build local knowledge of your area

The same branded retailer can charge a wildly different amount for fuel at its different sites so do not assume that a single supermarket on its own will always offer great value. Similarly, look for smaller, independent retailers that pride themselves on lower priced fuel.

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