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Drivers warned supermarket fuel giants have lost ‘appetite’ to cut prices

Supermarket fuel retailers have stopped cutting pump prices to encourage customers into their stores, motorists were warned (Joe Giddens/PA)
Supermarket fuel retailers have stopped cutting pump prices to encourage customers into their stores, motorists were warned (Joe Giddens/PA)

Supermarket fuel retailers have stopped cutting pump prices to encourage customers into their stores, motorists were warned.

Drivers are continuing to be hit by rising fuel prices despite a dip in wholesale costs.

Figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.4p on Thursday, while diesel rose to 199.1p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the rise in the price of petrol illustrates “the biggest retailers’ resistance to reduce their pump prices in line with the lower wholesale cost of unleaded”.

He went on: “Rather than passing on some of the savings they are benefiting from, they are clearly banking on the wholesale market moving up again which is disappointing for drivers who are desperate to see an end to ever-rising prices.

“Sadly, there no longer seems to be any appetite among the big four supermarkets to drive customers into their stores with lower pump prices.

“We question whether we will ever see much competition between supermarkets over fuel again, let alone a so-called ‘price war’.”

Retailers have reported a surge in verbal abuse towards forecourt staff by drivers angry at pump prices.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “With Wimbledon well under way, drivers may be forgiven for borrowing the iconic rant from John McEnroe as they pull up to the pump – ‘You cannot be serious!’.

“However, with some reports of aggressive behaviour towards forecourt staff, we urge people to channel the zen-like mentality of Roger Federer when refuelling and not abuse staff.

“It is not their fault, which is why the AA is directly challenging the Government, retailers and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to find a quick and effective solution.”

On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs he will carefully consider calls for a “more substantial” fuel duty cut after the 5p per litre reduction implemented in March failed to halt price rises.

In June, the CMA launched a “short and focused review” into how much drivers are being charged for fuel, after a request by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.