Why ARE fuel prices still rising? RAC and AA demand answers as petrol hits new record high of 191.2p a litre even though wholesale cost has been falling for 16 DAYS

  • Wholesale prices reached a peak of 181.41p in the week commencing June 6
  • Since then they have dropped for the last 16 days, but this isn’t being passed on 
  • Prices at forecourts have continued to rise, reaching record highs on Saturday 

The RAC and AA have demanded answers after the price of petrol hit a new record high even though the wholesale cost has been falling for more than two weeks.

The motoring organisations have said drivers have a ‘right to know’ why they are still being charged record prices despite the cost of wholesale fuel dropping for the last 16 days.

The RAC has said there is ‘absolutely no rhyme or reason’ to explain why these falling prices have not been passed onto consumers amid one of the worst cost of living crises in decades.

The organisation said wholesale petrol prices reached a peak of 181.41p for the week commencing June 6, and since then, these prices have fallen to 176.03p for the week commencing June 20.

While these prices have fallen, figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.2p on Tuesday.

The average price of diesel was 199.0p per litre, a fraction of a penny below the record of 199.1p per litre set on Saturday.

This has prompted demands for answers from the RAC and AA, who have hit out at the ‘inexplicable’ disparity between the two.

The latest wholesale and retail petrol prices according to RAC’s Fuel Watch. Despite falling wholesale prices in recent weeks, the cost at the pump has continued to rise

Fuel prices have risen to new record highs, with this BP petrol station at Reading Services charhing 205.9p for a litre of fuel

RAC fuel price spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘Inexplicably, fuel prices rose yet again yesterday.

‘We can see absolutely no rhyme or reason why average forecourt prices are still going up, given that the wholesale price of both fuels has been falling for weeks.

‘Drivers up and down the country have a right to know why they’re having to pay what they are for fuel when the costs to retailers right now are so much less than they were a few weeks ago.’

A 5p per litre reduction in fuel duty implemented by the Treasury in March has not stopped pump prices from soaring.

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority launched a ‘short and focused review’ of how much drivers are being charged for fuel after a request by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs on Tuesday he will carefully consider calls for a ‘more substantial’ fuel duty cut.

Amid concerns the previous reduction ‘didn’t really touch the sides’ for hard-pressed drivers, he said he would take the recommendations ‘under advisement’ when challenged in the House of Commons.

Mr Williams said a cut in pump prices ‘really can’t come soon enough’.

He went on: ‘If it’s a further fuel duty cut that the Chancellor decides on, it’s absolutely vital that this is passed on in full immediately by retailers to give drivers some respite from these historic high prices.

The RAC says motorists have a ‘right to know’ why prices are continuing to rise in the current environment (stock image)

‘It’s also vital the Government monitors the wholesale market and closely scrutinises retailer margins.’

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said drivers are ‘being taken for fools by retailers’.

He continued: ‘With the Prime Minister and the Chancellor talking openly about the prospect of cutting fuel duty further, drivers need to hear less talk and see more action.

‘An additional 10p cut in duty, which the AA called for weeks ago, will not only help ease the pressure at the pumps but keep prices in supermarket aisles down too.

‘Until this happens, household budgets across the country will continue being squeezed.’

Meanwhile, a Tesco forecourt that had been selling petrol for 168.9p a litre – 20p cheaper than local rivals – has today put its prices back up. 

Motorists had rushed to a Tesco petrol station in Ely, Cambridgeshire, yesterday after word spread it had slashed prices.

There were queues of drivers at a Tesco petrol station at Ely in Cambridgeshire yesterday after its price of petrol dropped to 168.9p – significantly below the national average. But only 24 hours later it put prices back up

But this afternoon the price had been put up to 178.9p leaving many drivers disappointed.

Philip Hardy, from Cambridge, said: ‘I rushed to the petrol station when I heard how cheap the fuel was but was really annoyed when I saw the price had gone up.

‘It was really good to see that petrol prices were starting to go down but it looks like it may have been a mistake.’

It comes as many fuel retailers are facing accusations of profiteering as petrol prices hit new highs despite easing wholesale costs.

Fuel prices have been driven up by the war in Ukraine and moves to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil. The cost of filling a family car is now more than £100.

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