Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Today’s talking point

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DID you ever think it’d cost almost £7 a gallon to fuel your car? Well, the latest rip-off price rises have already made that a reality.

We’ve become so used to seeing petrol and diesel prices in litres that many of us – especially older drivers – tend to think the cost is still relatively reasonable.

It’s only when you translate that into gallons that the shock comes. And it may get even worse.

FairFuelUK, which campaigns for fairer taxation and treatment of drivers, reports that prices are still rising, hitting £1.50 per litre two weeks earlier than it predicted and despite recent stable wholesale costs.

Yet it says overall average published figures are misleadingly distorted due to lower fill-up costs at the big four supermarket suppliers, who are always 4p to 6p per litre cheaper.

Petrol prices are hitting £1.50 in many Shell garages from Bristol to Aberdeen, and diesel exceeds an eye-watering, record-breaking high of nearly £1.54 per litre.

In an analysis of 476 UK forecourts over the weekend, FairFuelUK found independent garages and big oil brands are charging drivers considerably more than supermarkets and way more than is necessary.

Average retail profits for both petrol and diesel are now exceeding 20p per litre. That’s £11 from every driver filling up their family car with diesel and nearly £10 profit from drivers using unleaded.

Howard Cox, Founder of FairFuelUK, said: ‘Drivers too far away from access to lower supermarket pump prices are being forced to fill up where they have no choice but to swallow the rip-off prices of the big oil brands and independent forecourts. Shopping around to save a few pennies is pointless unless you are close to one of the big four supermarket outlets.

‘Now COP26 is done and dusted, it is time for the Government to get back to daily economic reality and to stop chronic profiteering by the greedy fuel supply chain.’

He wants the creation of PumpWatch, an independent pump price monitoring body similar to the consumer watchdogs Ofgem, Ofcom and Ofwat. This is supported by the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers.

‘Over 95 per cent of FairFuelUK’s 1.7million supporters want PumpWatch created, in order to protect the UK’s 37million drivers every time they fill up, as and when oil prices and exchange rates vary,’ said Mr Cox. ‘The secret world of pump pricing has to become more transparent.’

So do we need a clampdown on the fat-cat fuel moguls? Feel free to discuss this or anything else on your mind.

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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