11 Jan 2022

RAC Accuses Petrol Retailers of Taking Advantage of Motorists

The RAC has accused petrol retailers of taking advantage of motorists to the tune of £5m per day in December.

It comes after the motoring organisation suggested unleaded petrol’s 2p fall should have been 12p, while petrol fell 6p instead of 16p.

It sparked an objection from the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), who insisted supermarkets were working in an “extremely competitive” fuel market.

Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the PRA, said to the BBC; “December’s pump 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.

“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.”

Whereas Balmer was quick to defend retailers, RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said his organisation estimated, collectively, that drivers lost out on £156m from wholesale price cuts not being passed on.

He told The Guardian; “December was a rotten month for drivers as they were taken advantage of by retailers.

“In the past when wholesale prices have dropped retailers have always done the right thing – eventually – and reduced their pump prices.

“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 now has done.”

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