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RAC calls on supermarket fuel retailers to slash 3p a litre off petrol and diesel

Press Release   •   Feb 08, 2018 11:14 GMT

The RAC is today urging supermarkets to cut the price of fuel by 3p a litre following a $5 fall in the price of a barrel of oil.

The wholesale cost of both petrol and diesel has dropped in the last fortnight due to a 7% drop in oil from $70.55 on 25 January to $65.58 yesterday (Wednesday 7 February).

The RAC’s believes Britain’s big four supermarket fuel retailers now have the scope to cut their pump prices significantly, which currently between them average 119.49p for petrol and 122.13p for diesel, which would spark similar reductions around the country’s 8,500 forecourts.

Unleaded petrol yesterday (Wednesday 7 February) averaged 122.17p and diesel 124.91p a litre across forecourts in the UK.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We urge the supermarkets to do the right thing and pass on savings in the wholesale cost of fuel they are currently benefitting from to motorists at the pumps just before half-term. The sharp drop in the price of oil gives them a perfect opportunity to reduce their pump prices by 3p.

“There is often talk of sudden supermarket price wars over fuel, but in reality we all know they constantly use petrol and diesel prices to drive customers into their stores. Saying that, the fall in the wholesale fuel price gives them a great opportunity to turn up the heat in what has become something of a ‘cold pump price war’ in recent weeks. The question is which supermarket will make the first move.

“We know there is plenty of scope for the supermarkets to cut as we are aware of several money-off promotions tied to certain levels of spend in store as well as some big regional anomalies in price. In Taunton in Somerset, for example, supermarkets are selling petrol for around 112p a litre which is 10p lower than the UK average and 7p lower than the supermarket average.”

The recent drop in the price of oil has been caused by an unexpected increase in fuel stocks in the US, sparking fears of oversupply into what is traditionally a season of lower demand. In addition, the North Sea Forties pipeline, which was shut down in December due to a crack, has just reopened. This will bring 450,000 barrels of Brent crude oil a day on to the market.

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About the RAC

First formed in 1897 the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of motorists for 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. RAC Fuel Watch is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.

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