Drivers overcharged by £5m a day for petrol, claims RAC
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Tuesday 11th January 2022
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Drivers overcharged by £5m a day for petrol, claims RAC
The RAC has accused petrol retailers of ripping off motorists by refusing to pass on wholesale price cuts.
The motoring organisation said unleaded petrol fell by 2p a litre but should have come down by 12p.
It estimated drivers were overcharged by £5m a day in December as retailers made an average of 16p a litre on petrol instead of the normal 6p.
The Petrol Retailers Association objected, saying drivers were likely to have benefited more than that.
“December was a rotten month for drivers as they were taken advantage of by retailers,” said the RAC’s fuel spokesman, Simon Williams.
In the past, he said, retailers had always reduced pump prices when wholesale prices dropped.
“This time they’ve stood strong, taking advantage of all the media talk about ‘higher energy prices’ and banked on the oil price rising again and catching up with their artificially inflated prices, which it has now done,” Mr Williams said.
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But Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, said: “December’s pump price data is less reliable because it is taken from fuel card transactions, and there have been far fewer of these transactions because of the reduction in business activity between Christmas and New Year.”
He said the retail fuel market remained “extremely competitive” and said supermarkets did not use artificially low fuel prices to lure shoppers into their stores at Christmas.
“The costs of running petrol stations rose all year, with electricity up 19%, vastly reduced margins from fuel cards, increased national insurance and wage inflation,” he added.
The RAC said unleaded dropped from 147.47p a litre to 145.48p, when drivers should have seen prices nearer to 135p.
Diesel dropped by just under 2p a litre from 150.80p to 148.92p, when drivers should have been paying about 142p, it said.
The RAC’s data suggested that the price of a litre of unleaded on the wholesale market, including delivery, averaged 106p across December.
It said that had a 6p margin been taken by retailers, drivers would have seen an average petrol pump price of around 135p after applying VAT at 20%.
The average wholesale cost of delivered diesel was 112p a litre which, with the usual 6p retailer margin, would have given a pump price of about 142p.
“This means it has cost petrol car drivers £6 more to fill up a typical 55-litre family car than it should have (£80 v £74) and for diesel nearly £4 more, with a tank costing £82 at the end of the month instead of £78,” the RAC said..
It estimated retailers’ refusal to reflect lower wholesale prices at the pumps cost petrol car drivers £156m in December, or the equivalent of £5m a day.
Howard Cox, founder of campaigning group FairFuelUK, called for the government to create an independent pricing watchdog.
“If gas, electricity, water and telecoms get price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too?” he said.
He said that if prices at the pumps were “honest and transparent and open to scrutiny”, inflation could fall by as much as 1%.
“Pump prices should be 10p lower per litre if the actual wholesale price falls had been passed on honestly.”
“Sadly, the government’s efforts to work with the fuel industry so that pump prices are competitive, and market driven, ensuring consumers benefit from lower prices, is not working,” said MP Craig Mackinlay, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Fuel for Motorists and Hauliers.
By Simon Read Business reporter, BBC News
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
WWF TOP TEN WATER-SAVING TIPS
UK nature depends on freshwater for survival. Our lakes, rivers and wetlands provide homes for thousands of precious species – and just like us, they all need water to survive.
Here in the UK 70% of our water supply comes from surface water, which means that the water we use in our daily lives takes directly from freshwater sources in nature. WWF is working with dishwashing brand Finish to replenish 500 million litres of freshwater in the UK, raise awareness of the importance of freshwater for nature to thrive and encourage people to take small everyday actions to reduce their water use.
Governments and water companies can make the biggest difference to the way that our freshwater is used, but reducing your household water footprint is a great way to make an impact as an individual. Take a look at our top ten tips to save water and start making a difference.
- SWITCH TO SHOWERS
Switching from baths to showers is an easy way to save water. If you’re already a shower person, then try keeping your shower to 4 minutes or less. Lots of water companies will send you a shower timer for free – check with your provider to find out.
- FILL UP THE KETTLE ONLY AS MUCH AS YOU NEED
As a nation of tea drinkers, the kettle is always on. Filling up the kettle only as much as you need saves both water and energy, and most kettles have indicators letting you know how much water you need for each cup.
- TURN OFF THE TAP
Running taps waste as much as 6 litres of water a minute, so try filling a bowl of water when rinsing vegetables or fruit to keep your veg clean and your water use low!
- FILL UP THE WASHING UP BOWL
Another way of minimising running taps is to make sure that you’re filling a bowl when doing the washing up. Filling a bowl with water – and cleaning the cleanest items first – means you’re unlikely to need to change the water and will save a huge amount of water in comparison to washing everything under the tap.
- MAKE SURE YOUR DISHWASHER IS FULL!
Switching from handwashing to dishwashing saves 6000L a year – and not pre-rinsing your dishes before they go in saves another 1000L every year. Take a look at our dishwasher challenge to find out more.
- USE LEFTOVER COOKING WATER
or water from rinsing your veg – to water your plants or use on the garden.
- FIXING LEAKY TAPS IS AN EASY FIX FOR REDUCING YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT
Check your taps for any leaks under the sink, or for any drips when the tap is fully off. Lots of water companies also give away free ‘leak strips’ which stick to the toilet bowl and change colour if your toilet is leaking water.
- FIT LOW FLOW AERATORS ON YOU TAPS AND SHOWERS
These cheap adaptors to your taps aerate your water supply, which means that you get the same water pressure but use much less water!
- FILL UP A JUG OF COLD WATER
Running the tap for cold water is a small everyday action that is really easy to fix. Try making a habit of filling up a jug of water and putting it in the fridge every day so that you always have a supply of cold water without running the tap.
- KEEP THE SPRINKLERS OFF
Finally, if you have a garden then remember to keep the sprinklers off! There’s lots of ways to water your garden without them – invest in a water butt that collects water throughout the year for you to use, or try using cooking water instead. Your plants will benefit from the extra nutrients!
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.
Happiness is…cheap fuel, if you can find it.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
“A man walks into a chemist’s and says, ‘Can I have a bar of soap, please?’
The chemist says, ‘Do you want it scented?’
And the man says, ‘No, I’ll take it with me now.’” – Ronnie Barker
Love is… living in the present.
A time to buy petrol at £1 per litre… A time to buy petrol at £1.477 per litre.
©2022 Phil M Robinson