DRIVERS have been warned that retailers have started pushing up fuel prices.
The average price for a litre of petrol on UK forecourts on Monday was 148.8p, according to Experian.
While diesel averaged at 170.4p a litre on Monday, having fallen to 170.3p on Wednesday and Thursday last week.
The warning comes as the RAC highlighted that forecourt prices have failed to fully reflect a fall in recent wholesale prices.
Wholesale diesel costs plummeted by 32p per litre in the eight weeks to December 11 – but average pump prices only fell by 20p per litre during that time.
For petrol, wholesale costs tumbled by 23p per litre over a similar period.
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It took another month for average pump prices to drop by a total of just 18p per litre.
The RAC said retailers make more money out of drivers from every litre of fuel they sell by “keeping pump prices artificially high”.
This is known as rocket and feather pricing, when pump prices quickly reflect rising wholesale costs but are slow to fall when costs drop.
Price reductions at forecourts ground to a halt this week as wholesale costs started slowly rising again.
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RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “This is a galling situation for drivers who are struggling more than ever given the impacts of the wider cost of living crisis.
“The question now is whether retailers start to bump up their prices.
“This will depend on whether they decide to continue enjoying larger margins or let them return to more normal levels.
“Looking at current wholesale costs there is absolutely no justification for pump prices to rise."
The analysis backs up a report by competition watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority published last month, which said drivers were the victim of “rocket and feather” pricing in 2022.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps wrote to fuel retailers on December 22 urging them to “ensure savings are passed on to consumers” after it emerged drivers were being hit by record Christmas getaway fuel prices.
How to find the cheapest fuel prices
The easiest way to find the cheapest forecourt in your area for fuel is by using price comparison sites.
Websites like Petrolprices.com will list the cheapest filling stations in your area.
You need to register with the site, enter your postcode and tell it how far you're willing to travel for fuel (up to 20 miles) and what fuel type you're after.
There are other websites you can use too.
Fleet News and Allstar also let you check petrol prices across the counties so you can see how your region compares to the UK average.
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Comparison website Confused.com has a petrol prices checker that lets registered users find petrol prices within a five, ten or 25-mile radius.
Petrolprices.com is useful, but it does only give you limited amounts of searches each day, whereas Confused.com doesn't.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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