Latest increase in fuel prices reinforces AA call for fuel transparency
According to the firm's latest data, prices now stand at 135.79p/litre for petrol and 141.99 for diesel, respectively up 2.91p and 3.01p-a-litre in the last month (since mid-March).
This is despite the Government's 1p cut in fuel duty, the saving from which lasted just over a week before market pressures forced prices to rise.
Compared to a year ago, a typical 50-litre tank refill now costs £7.46 more for petrol and £10.05 more for diesel.
Wholesale petrol prices in Europe also hit record levels last week – that's despite oil being at least 15-20% or $25 a barrel cheaper than at the previous wholesale price peak of $147 a barrel in July 2008.
AA president Edmund King said: 'Our main beef this month is with pump and wholesale petrol prices at record levels yet oil substantially cheaper than in 2008 when wholesale petrol last peaked. With oil and wholesale fuel both traded in dollars, exchange rates are not a factor. Someone seems to be making substantially more money from lower raw material costs and it is time the drains were pulled up on the fuel market.'
As a result, the AA is continuing its call for transparency in the fuel market, similar to that in the USA, Australia and South East Asia, and says that it is consulting with other European motoring clubs with a view to approaching the EU competition commissioner.
Firms looking to cut fuel costs would be well advised to ask drivers to use forecourts at the supermarkets, which are currenty waging a discount voucher war. The Co-op is offering 5p off a litre from a £30 instore spend and Morrisons 6p off from a £40 instore spend. This compares with the more established 5p-a-litre saving from a £50 spend offered frequently by Sainsbury and Tesco.
Asda continues to expand its fuel station network, stimulating price drops in new areas with its low-price policy.
King said: 'The AA doesn't normally get excited by supermarket fuel vouchers – the £50 spend to get a 5p/litre fuel saving doesn't work well for single people, pensioners and lower-income consumers. However, the timing of the lower cost and higher return Co-op and Morrisons vouchers could offset the higher fuel cost of a trip to the seaside for someone who needs to stock up over Easter. However, drivers still need to compare pump prices and the cost of driving to cheaper fuel outlets to find the best deals.'For more of the latest industry news, click here.