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PRA warns of 4.00ppl rise in fuel prices in coming days as “floodgates open”

The association, which is demanding an investigation into the area, says that wholesale costs have risen by a shock 5.00ppl in just over four weeks since Christmas despite recent arctic weather cutting fuel demand across northern Europe and refinery chiefs complaining at their glut of petrol capacity.

And this price rise is set to be passed onto drivers, with PRA chairman Brian Madderson warning that: ‘Independent retailers have been soaking up this increase at the expense of already tight margins because they know how hard the motorist is squeezed. But the floodgates will have to open soon.’

The PRA says that the rise in just one of the reasons why it’s been demanding the Office for Fair Trading to instigate a full investigation into the workings of the UK market for road fuel for the last year.

It points to Experian Catalist figures which show that daily average selling prices in the UK have risen by less than 1.00ppl for both petrol and diesel since 1 January. Current prices at 22/1/13 were 132.83ppl for petrol and 140.40ppl for diesel whereas the wholesale cost changes could see prices at the pump up another 4.00ppl in coming days.

And although the Chancellor announced that he was axing the 3.02ppl fuel duty rise due on 1 January, many organisations including PRA believe he should have gone further and cancelled the rise now deferred to 1 September.

Madderson added: ‘If fuel costs continue to rise as our sluggish economy and loss of AAA credit rating weaken the pound sterling against the US Dollar, the Chancellor must abandon plans to increase duty from 1/9/13 when he presents his Spring Budget – householders and businesses will be hard pressed to cope with market fluctuations let alone more Government tax intervention.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.