The big 4 in a petrol price war

131 Comments | Add Comment | Blog entry posted 5th July, 2011

The four leading UK supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons have all recently slashed their fuel prices by around 3p per litre in response to the recent 10% drop in crude oil prices. This drop came after the International Energy Agency decided to release 60 million barrels of crude oil from the emergency reserves.

As well as the 3p drop in fuel prices, Sainsburys also offered an extra 10p off a litre of fuel if you spent £60 or more in any of their many stores; this deal was available from the 29.06.11 to 03.07.11. Although this deal has now expired, Tesco has hit back with its own mega-savings fuel promotion.

Tesco is offering up to 15p off per litre of fuel if you spend over £50 in store and also buy Princes Tuna Chunks and a 30 pack Coca Cola.

For each product you buy you will receive a 5p off per litre voucher. If you buy both products and spend £50 in store, you will get three 5p off vouchers; you can use up to three vouchers each time you fill up.

For more information on this promotion you can visit the Tesco website.

Obviously, the additional vouchers available from purchasing the Tuna and/or Coke would only be worth it if you actually wanted the products in question. Tuna is currently on offer at £4 per can but the coke is £10 for the 30 pack so it might be worth just going for 10p off each litre if you’re not a dedicated coke drinker.

Reviews for The big 4 in a petrol price war

Paul Jackson November 14, 2013

report reply to Paul Jackson

Can somebody PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I can find a .7p or a .9p coin so i can pay for my FUEL properly, or at least tell me what on earth they represent as when you pay for your Fuel it alway's goes to £1.38 instead of £1.37.7

derek barclay August 30, 2013

report reply to derek barclay

it is sad that the government in this country rips us of with a tax on fuel, but it is rare to come down ,why is fuel cheaper in france.

Terry Goymer March 18, 2013

report reply to Terry Goymer

If EVERYONE were to boycott BP and Shell, the 2 x companies would apply pressure to the Govt to drop fuel duty as they won't be making any money on fuel. It's no good boycotting Tesco or Morrison as they still make profits on retail. Hit the the 2 brands in the pocket and they will complain to the Govt for us!

    ivan May 10, 2013

    report reply to ivan

    I totally agree with you, maybe everyone should do the same to insurance companies, phone companies, electric companies etc strangle them like they did to all our small shops that closed, just what would happen if everyone decided not to drive their car firms halted would fuel go down in price.

daniel Of God January 24, 2013

report reply to daniel Of God

Can someone tell me what the p means in the price? Why oh why dont they listen to truecarpentry. Water make your car go down the road just fine. Believe me, it does not cost much to do it. And after your done, you reap the benefit.

Tarik Musa January 14, 2013

report reply to Tarik Musa

I filled up at morrisons in south east London about 3 weeks ago the diesel was sold to me at £1.34.9 when I got back to Hastings in East Sussex, morrisons store was selling their diesel for £1.41.9? Wtf!!!
Are these companies on a conspiracy?
I was told that living life out of London was supposed to be cheaper, apparently not!
I begrudge paying extautionate amounts to these companies that have started playing god with the publics pocket, especially when there are other countries that don't have a tax system like ours and they thrive on fuel more than us

    Allan August 11, 2013

    report reply to Allan

    Hi, I live in Hastings and have noticed that Morrisons diesel prices are high. On principle I will not go there. Normally there are queues of people waiting to pay because the place is under-manned. My views on Morrisons are unprintable. Allan

JOHN POOLE December 23, 2012

report reply to JOHN POOLE

Why do Morrissons vary their petrol prices so often and how come some Morrissons fuel stations put up prices on a Friday and back down again on the following Monday?

Joe Jenkins November 30, 2012

report reply to Joe Jenkins

Why have Morrisons increased the price of LPG to 71 .9 when they are cutting unleaded and container gas is now the cheapest it has been for years ???

norman nixon July 19, 2012

report reply to norman nixon

Its taken 4months for fuel to go down, the wholesale price went up 2 days ago, what happened prices went up, if this is not a fiddle between the oil companys I dont know what is.

Colin Creagh June 14, 2012

report reply to Colin Creagh

they say that asda have taken 3p off petrol in the last few day this is not true have just gone past Queens ferry and is still the same price why is this ?

    Colin Creagh June 15, 2012

    report reply to Colin Creagh

    It is still the same price and that was last night so it has not gone down in ASDA.

David Bartlett May 20, 2012

report reply to David Bartlett

Why do Tesco charge differet prices for petrol? I live in Cardiff and nearly all Tesco forecourts
have different prices.

Glynne Kemp May 5, 2012

report reply to Glynne Kemp

tesco are bandits tesco hemsworth 2p dearer than tesco barnsley 6 miles away on both petrol and diesel

David Thompson April 30, 2012

report reply to David Thompson

What about now late April 2012, I live in Haverhill, Suffolk and the price of fuel is set, it seems by Sainsburys, currently 147.9 where if you were to fill up in a small village retailer like Acorn Garage in with is 14 miles away you can save 2p per litre, yet all fuel in Haverhill is the same price ?? is this a cartel. Questions need to be asked.

M J March 30, 2012

report reply to M J

Aren't we a nation of moaners? I agree prices are too high, but it's our choice whether or not to be dependent on fuel. If you want to work in the city, live in the city. You can't live outside because it's cheaper then complain about the cost of getting back in to the city again, that's why it's cheaper living outside and you can't have it both ways. It wasn't so long ago that cars were still such a luxury to ordinary people that you either found work where you lived or moved for work; have you ever noticed while you're sat in a traffic queue that there's a ton of cars going the other way? Just swap jobs ;) Seriously though, the majority of us could reduce our dependence on our cars.

    Nicholas Reeves April 10, 2012

    report reply to Nicholas Reeves

    Seriously have you looked at the unemployment numbers, its easy to sit there and say " get a job closer to home" its more likely you end up out of work for lengthy periods of time sucking down large amounts of benefits! Solution lower the fuel costs back down to £1.20 - £1.30 per litre and allow people the comfort that they can still afford to get to work. One other thing public transport is not much better, if you calculate what you spend on a bus fair or a train to get to work every day, or just to even visit family the cost is much higher than that of a tank of fuel but not at the current price range of 1.40 - 1.50 per litre. What is happening to the small road user is higher fuel costs mean we cant get to work, look for new job = no recruitment, sign on for benefits, drain on public funds and welfare which results in less spending which damages the economy resulting in a deeper recession, causing a depressed, angry, demotivated, lazy and poor society! The system is so self destructive and needs completely changed but to what?

Jon Cusick March 27, 2012

report reply to Jon Cusick

When will anyone realise that it is NOT the oil companies that control, hyke, the fuel prices it's the GOVERNMENT taxes! If the government keep spending up to £800 billion of our tax money abroad EVERY YEAR someone has to pay for it. Fuel, Beer, Cigarettes and now food are all subject to at least 2 kind of taxes. Change the government oust the big 3 parties and vote the little parties in.

Paul March 24, 2012

report reply to Paul

Why is it that we all complain about the price of fuel but we don't do anything. The government have become so complacent that although we are now paying £1.40 a litre they are still going ahead with another 3p a litre rise. It's about time that we fought back and that can only be done with demonstrations that last at least a week at a time where we all refuse to buy fuel and block as many roads as we can. This must include commercial and domestic fuel users. LETS START REALLY FIGHTING BACK!!!!!!!

Andrew Smith March 22, 2012

report reply to Andrew Smith

It wasn't too long ago that diesel was cheaper than unleaded because it was cheaper too produce, so the government put the tax up on it for some crap reason so why has the price gone up so much now ?

    Kellerman March 26, 2012

    report reply to Kellerman

    Because diesel is needed more in Europe and Asia for haulage, and a good chunk is also exported Stateside given you get either a fraction of diesel from every barrel of oil, or gasoline. Not both. So satisfying demand is a touch choice and drives a price premium.

Steve R March 20, 2012

report reply to Steve R

Got the petrol prices update this morning (20/03/12) stating Asda Brierley Hill was 134.7 per litre. By teatime when I visited (6pm) it was 135.7 but many of their pumps had run out of unleaded. Sainsburys Amblecote (where I went instead after driving away in protest) was still 134.9, the price in this morning's update.

Of course, no one is making any money out of the Great British Petrol and Diesel Scam are they..............not even the Government. Not half.

Unhappy March 15, 2012

report reply to Unhappy

I believe the time has come for all vehicle users to block all refineries and central london. They must cut the taxation on fuel if this country is going to survive. We see more and more foreign HGV's on british roads puttting british transport firms out of business, also the foregeign vehicles don't always conform to british MOT standards. Let's do something now!

peter March 14, 2012

report reply to peter

They can tell if it has supermarket fuel in it because it is lacking in fuel additive as it is only produced to come up to the minimum standard needed to be able to sell it. I would have thought that VW should be liable for repairs to a car that can not run on BS Standard fuel, but it seems not. You believe all petrol is the same if you want to, but i'll not be filling up at a supermarket again.

David Marshall March 13, 2012

report reply to David Marshall

More fuel price hikes, in January 2012 I was paying £1.48 for diesel, in February it was £1.52 and now in March it is £1.55 per litre, so thats a 7p a litre price rise since January 13th.
So all this campainging from and Cheapfueluk has not yet persuaded the goverment to reduce fuel duty and even though the price of crude dropped, the pump prices continue to rise at an alarming rate.

john parsons February 28, 2012

report reply to john parsons

drar sir/madam
I have just payed £147.9p a litre for diesil,i rang the company (murco) they said it had go up as they are a small company, it is old stock but they still put 3p on litre, i said that is a rip-off no reply ! thanks john

Herds filling station
404 staines rd west
ashford middx

    Iain Alton March 1, 2012

    report reply to Iain Alton

    I have just paid 145.9p at murco looked at my receipts and found its gone up 6p in 10 days. They got £2.92 for exactly the 2 litres minimum and will go to the supermarket later and save 6.2p a litre!
    When are they gonna learn that by ripping off the motorist now, that in time to come the profits will be down because no one will have any money to spend on fuel after paying extra for their food and other things which have to be delivered by trucks using the same fuel and paying the same at the pumps. This applies to the government (the biggest rip off merchants!), the petrol companies and the retailers.
    People rely on their cars to get to work to earn their money to pay for their food ,clothes, bills etc they are just causing us to stall at the first hurdle. The time will come! Look at the banks it was all grab grab grab then crash.

      peter March 8, 2012

      report reply to peter

      Save up those 6 pences because you will need them for engine repairs. Recon fuel injectors at least, but i've just bought a 2006 vw polo with 30k on it that turns out to have low compression in no 1 and 2 cyls. VW say this is down to supermarket grade fuel. No additive=wear on valves=no comp. Obviously the valves must be made of recycled baked bean cans, but it just goes to show what shite fuel can do to your car.

        John March 8, 2012

        report reply to John

        Peter with all due respect, VW are talking crap. Can they prove that supermarket fuel is inferior and that it caused the excess wear on your overrated shopping trolley?

peter connachan January 26, 2012

report reply to peter connachan

Can anyone explain to me why every week the price of diesel and unleaded fuels rise by at least 2p per litre. The cost of filling my vehicle has gone up by £15.00 a tank in recent months.

    Alan Dowling February 7, 2012

    report reply to Alan Dowling

    I agree with Peter. Fuel prices invariably end in .9p or .7p. When prices change, they still end in .9p or .7p. Why not be honest about it and fix the fuel prices in round pence? After all, the price on the pump when you have filled up does not have decimal parts of a penny.
    Also, out of interest, does anyone else find that they are no longer able to put an exact pounds worth of fuel in your tank. I have tried to buy £10.00 of diesel several times and the total price on the pump goes from £9.99 to £10.01 when you add one more drop.

      Iain Alton March 1, 2012

      report reply to Iain Alton

      Hi Alan, I didnt believe what you said about the pump jumping from £9.99 to £10.01 so while I was at morrisons in leyland tonight I was putting £20 of diesel and thought this is easy done it before lol slowed right down and what did it do?... £19.98 slowly... £19.99 slowly...£20.01 Doh!

Boo To peak oil November 22, 2011

report reply to Boo To peak oil

This whole, thing with so called price war is a con. It is just a marketing tool to get people to spend more money at the big chain shops and further put a nail in the coffin of the ordinary small, local stores.

As I have been saying for a while the biggest problem is the fuel duty. Imagine a point where 20% of the current cars on the road use fossil fuel and the rest use the "beloved" eco friendly renewable energy source like electricity.

It does not really matter what the energy source is, it can even be pure water, as long as a small group of already wealthy people can make money out of it.

Now the question becomes what happens to the fuel duty? Do you honestly think the government will just let go of this source of income? The next energy source will be just as expensive. This is what people must realise before they join the la la liberal, sandal wearing, straw hatted ecological groups.

I still enjoy Sunday drives. I did not study at university to go on a bus. For those who think public transport is the answer let me give you a simple example. A train costs £190.00 for a return from London to Manchester. Now I can buy a second hand diesel banger for £100.00 with MOT and tax left for 1 month. Get temporary car insurance for £20.00 and fill it up with £60.00 and still be £10.00 better off. At the end of it I can re sell the car or bin it. Tell me again I should get off my car?

The solution to this crisys in my opinion is to seriosly invest in production like a state owned car manufacturer for example. The country needs a bigger source of income. The UK imports way more than it exports. No matter how you cut we will always spend more than we make as a country. Stop aiming to reduce the deficit in 4 or 5 years, look at it over 20 years and you will get growth.

When I become the next prime minister I will re introduce lashes. lol. Rant over.

MICHAEL November 15, 2011

report reply to MICHAEL

I was watching the news and there was a breakdown on unleaded.
58p Duty
22p VAT
45p Oil
7p Retailer
Why is the duty this high and why is the motorist getting penalised with it.

Gary Simpson November 8, 2011

report reply to Gary Simpson

As a person that once had a go at the this site's 72 hour delay for updating prices in the beginning of its life (ie: I drove a distance to get the super cheap petrol only to find the price was 3 days old and had gone back up more than the local garage!........),

I actually think the site looks great and the bugs have gone :) well done :) Nice picture Ricky ;) well worth a visit each day ;) oops the other half just coming up the path!

Gary :)

    Ricky Dawn November 22, 2011

    report reply to Ricky Dawn

    Thank you very much for your kind words Gary!

    We are glad you like the changes! :)


Frank October 13, 2011

report reply to Frank

I filled up at Sainsbury's Alperton on 11/9/11. The car began to run unevenly (as if on 5 out of 6 cylinders) and I had to have the plugs replaced. I called Sainsbury's. They denied there was a problem (too quickly; taking no time to consult other staff). I wrote but they've ignored my letter. The matter is currently with Sainsbury's CEO. I'll keep you posted. My next step is to ask Trading Standards to check the fuel.

Meanwhile beware Sainsbury's fuel quality! Sort- and long-term use could damage your engine!

    ivan May 10, 2013

    report reply to ivan

    Hi Frank, when I had my petrol fiesta I found the fuel evaporated when not in use, mpg was crap on supermarket fuel.

John September 23, 2011

report reply to John

Sorry to be negative but i preferred the home page the way it was before, in terms of the information presented.

Mitchell September 23, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

The change is abominable, my company use this on a daily basis however the new site looks terrible. Functionality is also poor

    Ricky Dawn September 23, 2011

    report reply to Ricky Dawn


    We are sorry you feel like this, what do you not like about the site?

    We need the feedback from our users in order to be able to make it better :)


      CJ November 15, 2011

      report reply to CJ

      In this day of campaigning against Petrol Price rises, how silent is Perhaps you can ask Brendan to support the Campaign against the Tory coalition raising the fuel price.

john September 22, 2011

report reply to john

Why has the home page of the site changed recently so that now you cannot see the high, low and average price of fuel in the UK on a daily basis?

    ronnie February 29, 2012

    report reply to ronnie

    Hi I think the blockades should go back on and stay on till they listen to the motorist and get the torrys out of there this name is not david it is maggie.

Mitchell September 16, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

The supermarkets can knock off what they want, but only because they will make a hell of a lot more on those tuna chunks than they will on that petrol, and you will of probably bought other things in there , making it well worth them knocking 5p a litre off your 50 litre fill.

Its a loss leader to increase foot fall in the store, filling stations that are not supermarket branded dont have that luxury and run appaulingly small margins.

Its criminal the amount of duty that is paid on diesel and is inflationary. The sad thing is , that inflation seems to be the only way to keep the pound low against the dollar so that the tiny amounts of exports we have stay competitive............

Andrew Roper September 15, 2011

report reply to Andrew Roper

The price of petrol can be dropped if the supermarkets wish. Tesco was recently offering 5p per ltr off if u bought a 3 pack of princess Tuna!! It shows that the stores and government are making a killing out of the motorist. Also, the store near me puts the price up every weekend in order to cash in on those filling for the week. It's about time that their and the governments greed is shown how it is having a very damaging affect on the economy in this country. It is ridiculous that over 80p is duty and vat per ltr.

Jorja September 13, 2011

report reply to Jorja

Thanks guys, I just about lost it looknig for this.

Ruthy September 8, 2011

report reply to Ruthy

Post number 68:
The first two e-petitions to reach 100,000+ signatures should have been debated in the House of Commons this week but not one M.P stould up to raise the matter!
"Cheaper Petrol and Diesel, by Robert Halfon MP and FairFuel UK" fair any better when it reaches or passes 100,000 signatures?

Denis Woolsey September 1, 2011

report reply to Denis Woolsey

Brits ripped off again.

Whilst driving in Spain this year the max price I saw for diesel was 1.429 euros per litre (£1.299 £1=1.10 euros), and that was on a motorway where the fuel station was in the middle of nowhere. In San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia where I stayed the price was 1.289 euros/ltr (£1.17), but the real twist is that petrol is approx 5 cents/ltr (0.045p) more expensive. Not only does the government rip us off but also the fuel companies. Years ago the car manfs refered to us as the Golden Isle's no its the fuel companies

Mitchell September 1, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

Eurozone manufacturing PMI data was at 49 points, output at 48.9 and new orders at 46. A fall in the data below 50 indicates a manufacturing recession, as a result traders are bearish. However, the losses are being limited by the oil price graphs which are supportive but are now likely to top out.

Attention is now turning to the US PMI data which is due this afternoon and will be followed tomorrow by the non-farm payroll data. Both this data has the potential to disappoint markets.

Mitchell September 1, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

I dont think production is the issue at the moment, OPEC released a statement this week detailing that production had reached a 3 year high, however demand is still not back above 30mpd between the US and China.

Rumours of tightening supply going into 2012 and that Libyan output will take some time to recover up to noticable levels is driving that price up high again. The drops of recent weeks are just starting to filter through to the forecourts but as we are getting a relative rest bite , you guessed it , wholesale prices are back on the up. 3ppl in the last week as the markets recover from sell offs caused by trouble in the Euro and the flock from oil and the $ to gold due to the US downgrade.

If the US ISM manufacturing data comes in tomorrow below 50.0 points we can expect some huge drops in oil over the coming weeks.

Arthur August 26, 2011

report reply to Arthur

#70 Boo

"I cant believe that since 2008 people have not understood my point here".

Perhaps you should make it clearer - or, more likely, if all you're saying Governments will tax energy used for transportation, then people think it's too banal to comment. You'll be telling us the bears $hit in the woods or the Poe's Catholic next!

#71 Philip

It would be useful if you could quote that "excuse" and name the source. Many people make the comparison back to oil prices back in 2007/2008 when the $/£ exchange rate was indeed much more favourable to us.

To say that forecourt profits are controlled by "big oil companies" is just nonsense. If you really think oil companies control wholesale prices then you are definitely barking up the wrong tree.

Philip G Bell August 25, 2011

report reply to Philip G Bell

I am sick of all the excuses that the oil companies give for maintaining high prices. In the last few weeks I have heard them blame the weakness of the pound against the dollar - false the average £-$ ration has been stable for some time. I know as I import goods from the USA.
2nd they say the forecourts make little money. Well this is controlled by the big oil companies. They prefer to keep the profits near to source so if the profits at the forecourts start to improve then they adjust the wholesale price to bring it back to source. This is why they make such huge profits.
Sure duty is a big cost but then so is VAT and if the forecourt price drops then so does VAT.
The Oil Industry Chiefs are Profiteers and should be treated as criminals as they have a global effect on food and living.

Boo To Peak Oil August 24, 2011

report reply to Boo To Peak Oil

Hey Kennedy, Why don't you ask Arthur and Mitchell the effects of the stock market on fuel prices.

Oil is seen as an investment these days and has an effect on demand and consequently what we pay.

I cant believe that since 2008 people have not understood my point here.

The fuel duty.No matter what the energy source would be, would be made unaffordable simply because the government sees this as an easy way of making money.

Kennedy August 24, 2011

report reply to Kennedy

C.p 67:

"If the crude oil price drops by 20% then is it not unreasonable to assume that the wholesale price will drop by a similar amount?"

I too used to think like this but a 20% drop in the price of oil doesn't mean a 20% drop in the rate of fuel duty and V.A.T. (even if we wish it did).

By the time the drop in oil prices filters through to the pumps we'd be looking at the lower single figure % reductions there and nothing remotely like a 20% reduction.

I may be wrong but anybody hoping for a significant drop in fuel prices with the Libyan conflict apparently coming to an end, may be in for a long wait if reports are anything to go by with a number of facilities out of action or damaged or tainted. We could see a couple of pence drop but as Libya slowly gets back to full production then I'm sure the other oil producers who have increased their daily output to cover the shortfall will cut back to their original production levels and hopefully (I did say hopefully, no guarantees) the oil price should level out, but let's not forget that January 2012 sees another 4 ppl fuel duty going on and some time later in 2012 another 4 ppl fuel duty added again.
Robert Halfon MP has created an "e-petition" for cheaper petrol and diesel and currently has just over 62000 signatures supporting it and interested parties might want to consider reading the petition and deciding if they should sign or decline adding their weight to it. I won't place a link here because I think that's not allowed under "" rules, but if you've a mind I'm sure you'll find it.

Arthur August 24, 2011

report reply to Arthur

# 67 C.p.,

"If the crude oil price drops by 20% then is it not unreasonable to assume that the wholesale price will drop by a similar amount?"

To answer your question you only have to think about how markets actually work - a willing seller and a willing buyer set the price. The way you phrase your question hints of the common misconception that (particularly in the oil market) there is someone up the chain holding the buyer to ransom and charging an inflated price. This simply isn't the case. When you say "there is a direct correlation between the wholesale price of petrol/diesel and the price of crude oil traded on the markets" I would question the use of "direct". Clearly, if the cost of crude drops then refiners are able to sell refined products more cheaply - and in a competitive market that is what happens. The market will dictate the timing rather than falls or increases following an exact correlation.

Where you are fundamentally wrong is suggesting that a 20% fall in the cost of crude should be reflected in a 20% fall in the cost of the refined products. Clearly the refining costs haven't dropped at all - staff haven't been given 20% pay cuts etc. etc.

C.p. August 23, 2011

report reply to C.p.

"At the moment this works out around the following

$960 per ton for DERV / 11.83 = 81.15 cents per litre

81.15 / ex rate of 1.63 = 49.78 + 1 ppl for bio fuel , so 50.78 ppl for diesel as a raw product.

+ 57.95 ppl in duty
+ 3 ppl delivery to forecourt
= 111.73

+ 3 ppl margin
= 114.73
*1.2 for VAT
= 137.7 inc VAT"

Can't argue with that analysis, but isn't the key point that there is a direct correlation between the wholesale price of petrol/diesel and the price of crude oil traded on the markets? If the crude oil price drops by 20% then is it not unreasonable to assume that the wholesale price will drop by a similar amount?

Steve August 23, 2011

report reply to Steve

We are going in this direction. The two texaco sites could be owned by different operators running different margins, HGV access could allow larger vehicles. In summary fuel may drop in price but the forecourt can only react to that price once they have bought the lower priced stock.

John August 20, 2011

report reply to John

What you are saying about supermarket fuel being inferior and BP being superior has been proved to be untrue. However, I have no axe to grind, I go where it's cheapest. Makes no difference to the fuel economy on my car.

Kennedy August 19, 2011

report reply to Kennedy

Many thanks for that Mitchell.
No more Mitchell or Arthur bashing from me.

I'd always been aware of Tesco's inferior fuel (can I say that) and oddly enough Morrison's does seem better but my nearest is about 25 miles away so nothing to be gained there. Sainsbury's I agree are more of the same on par with Tesco, though I've had some good stuff from Asda's but that might have been a "one off".
The three stations I mentioned always have the same gap in their fuel prices, the most expensive one at 141.9 does have greater access for the large vehicles i.e lorries, buses etc and about half a mile from it is a Murco station selling U/L at 133.9 today. I've always found Murco fuel to be good too (rocket fuel I call it) but that could well be my imagination, I don't know.
B.P is another favourite of mine, and we get Nectar points.
Obviously I don't venture into the expensive filling stations but I'll look out for that tip about the name plate above the door.
The using up old stock works for me as does the possibility that they aren't under the same control as each other, as no matter what time of the year there's always that difference in their prices. I'm repeating myself. Sorry.
Thanks again Mitchell, my eyes are wider open now.

Mitchell August 19, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

There could be a few differences between the sites, but you also have to take into account when they last filled there tanks. If you buy on a monthly basis , you will for example at the start of the month pay £1.35 a litre. Over that month fuel could have dropped 8 ppl and you could see other forecourts reflecting that. The station at £1.35 however has to finish selling that fuel before it can drop prices.

The two texaco sites could be owned by different operators running different margins, also the volume going through the sites could be different , for example HGV access could allow larger vehicles and therefore fill ups to go through one, meaning they could run lower margins. Chevron (Texacos owners) dont actually own any refining capacity in the UK anymore so they will be supplied by the nearest refinery and will be transport by texacos trucks, or their subby.

Now i shouldnt really say supermarkets in general, because on reputation within the industry , there isnt really a bad word to say against morrisons. However you will find a distinct and measurable economy drop when using sainsburys asda and tesco fuel as they dont carry the level of detergents and additives in "branded" fuel that help with efficiency. BP fuel is undoubtedly superior to most, Shell make some outlandish claims on their fuelsave , but i have heard mixed independent reviews of this. If BP is the cheaper garage in your area, id be snapping their hand off because it certainly is a rarity.

In summary fuel may drop in price but the forecourt can only react to that price once they have bought the lower priced stock. This is only possible once they have sold the more expensive stuff that they hold. Petrol stations will set their prices and margins according to competition in the area, their overheads , volume going through the site and their buying patterns. Some forecourts are owned in clusters of 5-10 sites per operator some could be individual and so require a greater margin.

The only way to spot if a site is owned by the network is if their badge is above the forecourt shop, for example if shell own the site , it will say "Shell
Shop" if its a franchise owned site ( The vast majority are ) it will be something different. BPs owned sites are M&S shops. Esso is "Esso snack and shop"

Also avoid supermarket fuel. Its actually a false economy in most cases.

Kennedy August 19, 2011

report reply to Kennedy

63 Mitchell.
You've never agreed with me before but you have now:
In comment 37 I said:
The "value" fuel sold by the big supermarkets really is just that i.e cheap and nasty.
And in 63 you say:
"supermarket forecourts (who actually sell a lower grade fuel in most instances") .......................
Perhaps you have mentioned this before I don't know, and I buy my fuel from anywhere other than supermarkets. No sarcasm here, am I doing the right thing? Do you buy from supermarkets or do you avoid them?
Another question for you, and I have no ideas/opinions as to why this is but perhaps you could offer a reason.
The examples I'm about to quote are the norm, and even though I know that fuel has gone down this week these 3 stations are always the same with their differences in prices.
In my local town there are 2 Texaco filling stations around a quarter of a mile apart and today their unleaded prices are 137.9 in the one and 134.9 in the other. Just under 2 miles away there's another Texaco filling station and their unleaded is 141.9 (this one is ALWAYS much more expensive) Okay, the first two have about the same square footage of site but the third is noticeably larger. All three have a Spar shop attached to them. If it helps they're all in the same local county council district too. What I'm saying is there's a 7ppl difference between the cheapest and the dearest, and I'm guessing they're all supplied by Texaco?
There's a B.P filling station also and today their U/L is 133.9
I'm just asking for a friendly explanation that's all, no sarcasm, no point scoring or anything. Can you see what I might be missing?
Thank you in advance.

Mitchell August 19, 2011

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Unleaded is not a pressing issue, if people want to use their cars for driving to work instead of finding another means then why shouldnt they be tax for the privilege .

Wholesale price of diesel this morning is 110 ppl including delivery and excluding VAT, This works out about 132 inclusive of VAT before any margins have been put on by the forecourt. Basically any forecourts the replenish their tanks in the next week you would expect to pay between 135.9 & 137.9
depending on the location of the site.

KCB, forecourts can not afford to be greedy because supermarket forecourts ( who actually sell a lower grade fuel in most instances ) are selling below cost as a loss leader and preventing the traditional forecourt from making hardly anything. The conditions in the market place make it impossible to rip anyone off.

Wholesale prices dont directly correlate with the price of the oil barrel. But the close prices for ULSD are published by a number of companies each day , Platts,Bloomberg and the FT just to name a few. Just because you dont have it spoon fed and the donkey work of calculating it done for you doesnt mean you are justified by ranting on.

You attempts of satirical comedy at my expense have only served to highlight your obvious lack of cognitive function. Im clued up because i took the initiative and the time to find out how it works and working it out myself. I suggest you go do the same before smashing another dimly informed essay on what i suspect is your very sticky keyboard.

K.c.b August 18, 2011

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58. Kennedy. You're wasting your time with Arthur and Mitchell, theirs is the way, the truth and the light, and whosoever disbelieveth them shall be bombarded with figures and claptrap. They constantly quote figures to make themselves look superior, and in the know.

61. Andy. Unleaded is not particularly a pressing issue because Mitchell says so in 51, and nobody must argue with Mitchell.

The problem is that none of us know what the wholesale price of petrol is. The wholesalers are completely impenetrable. How Arthur and his hoppo Mitchell are so clued up beats me. In the United States there is a wholesale price indicator available on websites. We have nothing like that here in the U.K so we don’t know if price rises are down to retailers being greedy or the fact that their wholesale costs have gone up.

Arthur/Mitchell: What is the wholesale price of petrol today and what is your source?

Andy August 18, 2011

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Hello, Can someone please explain why after three weeks of sub $110.00 barrel prices, fuel at the pump remains high. I'm aware that tax is a high percentage (60%ish) but on my calculations it should have dropped by at least 10 - 15 p litre.
Are we being ripped of again by greedy fuel companies? The Government has no interest in lower fuel prices because they take less tax and it's supposed to be good for the environment.
Why isn’t there more protest, or are we doing the British thing and not complaining?

Arthur August 18, 2011

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# 59

Mitchell, I don't think Kennedy likes cold hard facts - just the sound of his own baseless opinions.

Kennedy: Aren't you stretching your own debating skills somewhat when you have to make up my arguments for me so that you can supposedly knock them down? Come back when you've got a case to argue that you can support with facts and I'll reply. You might want to start with why Mitchell's evidence above "doesn't wash with you".

Mitchell August 18, 2011

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Fuel pricing is pretty transparent. I work for one of the larger independent fuel distributors , we have ties with all the major oil companies and due to the fact we pump more fuel in a day than an average forecourt will pump in a month its safe to say our economies of scale give us a slight pricing advantage. Even with this advantage , margins are on average 3-4 ppl we rely on monumentally large volumes to make decent money.

The closing price for diesel from rotterdam is published each day in $/T , this divided by a conversion of 11.83 will give you a price in US cents per litre. Now if you divide this by the exchange rate you will have a rough price for diesel as a raw product in pence per litre minus around a penny at the moment for the incorporation of the RTFO biofuels requirements.

At the moment this works out around the following

$960 per ton for DERV / 11.83 = 81.15 cents per litre

81.15 / ex rate of 1.63 = 49.78 + 1 ppl for bio fuel , so 50.78 ppl for diesel as a raw product.

+ 57.95 ppl in duty
+ 3 ppl delivery to forecourt
= 111.73

+ 3 ppl margin
= 114.73
*1.2 for VAT
= 137.7 inc VAT

These are pretty cold hard facts, and yes a forcourt will make a hell of a lot more money selling a sandwich than a litre of petrol. But doing away with the fuel? Im sorry that is just nonsense, why would anyone go into a forecourt and pay 20% above the odds for snacks if they were not there already for fuel, im sure you know just as well as i do that that is just a silly point.

My point is that in the right areas a forecourt will make money, but in no ways are they profiteering. As far as i can see they make a fair margin, much fairer than some other business. The majority are owned by independent franchises not large oil companies , they concentrate like on strategic areas such as services where the profits are a little more attractive.

My issue is that the majority of flack is somehow put on the petrol stations themselves when there prices simply move with the market, the competition is such that they can not maintain artificially high prices, especially since the introduction of loss leading supermarket forecourts.

The reality is that the government through excessive taxation have caused this situation and i believe it has been one of the largest contributions to our current inflation problems and a penny here and there just wont do it only a major cut or suspension in fuel duty can really bring things under control.

Kennedy August 17, 2011

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I'm a big nobody really, and nothing I could say could make a blind bit of difference to the direction that fuel prices could go.
It's refreshing to see a slightly more middle of the road comment from someone as passionate about fuel prices (diesel in particular) as you are.
You say that the price of fuel is fully transparent? I'll suspend that thought for a moment because I've never met a businessman yet that says anything other than he's on his @rse. They always claim that they're never doing well, and times are always hard for them, so the media that is the internet telling me that any forecourt is scraping by on a profit of 3-4 ppl just doesn't wash with me. If it was any body of people with absolutely no connection directly or indirectly telling me this after they had done extensive research and not just typed "forecourt profits" into Google then just maybe (just) there'd be half a chance that I'd believe it, but it's always the fuel retailers telling us that their profits are so low and if it wasn't for the forecourt shops they'd all go bust. (Can you make that much money on a packet of crisps or a pie?). Why don't they abandon fuel sales altogether if their forecourt shops are so lucrative? Wouldn't their overheads be less (insurance etc) if they didn't have an explosive substance on site? I expect you'll say that anything sold in forecourt shops must be treated as "after sales" and if the customer wasn't buying fuel then they'd probably not stop there in the first place, but the rise of the 24 hour shops suggest otherwise. If my shop (hypothetically) was doing much better than my garage then I know which one I'd get rid of.
Perhaps I'm narrow minded, perhaps I can't see the wood for the trees and perhaps the fuel retailers don't want us to know or believe anything other than what they tell us.

Lowering/scrapping the duty on diesel? An admirable thought but 40% of new cars registered on Britain's roads today are diesel (alright, I'm guilty, I Googled it) so how fair would that be to the petrol car drivers? Farmers/plant machinery are allowed to use red diesel and I read on another petrol-prices blog the suggestion that a different coloured, lower duty diesel should be made available to hauliers but would the savings be passed onto us by way of lower priced goods in the shops? I suspect not unfortunately as they'd no doubt have another reason why they can't lower their transport costs. "We've been running at a loss for the past 3 years". Really? I'd have packed it in after 3 months because no business can sustain a year on year loss and that INCLUDES fuel retailers. I appreciate that the hauliers are having a hard time of it at the moment (I bet that shocks you) but so are we all. I don't know if reducing the fuel duty on diesel is the answer (pilfering) and I don't know that using a different colour diesel is the answer either
(the administration costs might prove prohibitive) and any concession given will have to be a token one so, how about this: reduce the road tax for lorries by 50% then freeze it for the remainder of this parliament, fleet operators would see their annual road tax bill cut by half almost immediately.
A little or token concession? yes, but every little helps.

You say you're a 24 year old? well, good luck in the next 45 years that lay ahead of you. I'm a 50+ year old, and I can remember when petrol was the equivalent of 25p per GALLON! but that was then and this is now.
You'll find this very hard to accept but, you, me and dare I say Arthur too, are not a million miles away from having similar points of view (I'm expecting some flack for saying that) but I look at things much more objectively and I don't believe all that I see on the internet, nor do I believe all that I read in the newspapers (I wouldn't believe the date in some of them) so you can see now why the "I've been in business for 30 years, and am only making 3 ppl profit" brigade have an uphill struggle in convincing me that that statement is true. Maybe it is true but I'd like to hear it from anybody unconnected in any way, and from someone who doesn't believe all that they read.

Sky T.V and Accountants? I hear and agree with what you say, but this is a petrol-prices blog so I'll reserve my acerbic thoughts on them for another time and place.

Finally (you said) and trying not to get in too deep with politics: the previous Labour Government? Yes, well, um. As was the case through most of the 20th century (I'll get a hammering for saying this) the Labour Governments left us in the brown stuff and the Tories weren't exactly blameless either, they had many faults which I won't go into now. They nearly always inherited an economy in trouble, and the medicine was always harsh and I don't think anybody would believe other than it's about to get a whole lot worse. Are they doing it right? Well, I'm nowhere near qualified to answer THAT question, only time will tell but I am getting a little cheesed off by hearing that it was "The Labour Government wot did it", and 15 months down the line we're still hearing it. Memo to the Condems: we get the message loud and clear now ffs get on with it.
Over to you Mitchell.

Mitchell August 17, 2011

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I work in the industry but im 24 years old and have no such benefits as company cars, nor do i have any interest in the general profitability of the Oil majors.

The price of fuel is fully transparent, you can access the information of all the information online and can work out fairly accurately what an individual forecourts margins are. Usually an average forecourt will make 3-4 ppl , thats less than a 3% margin at current prices. Now this is hardly profiteering, i dont see people up in arms about paying their Sky tv bills, who work on 25% + margins ? I also dont see business' compaining about accountants making 60% + margins?

All these are set by market forces just as fuel is, the only difference is that more than half the money you pay for a tank of fuel goes straight to the tax man. Can you think of any other essential purchase you make taxing you at 60%+ ?

Cutting fuel duty on diesel would decrease inflation , kick start consumer confidence and spending causing an increase in growth in the economy. This growth should bring in more taxable revenue than the fuel duty on diesel ever did. A massively short sighted taxation system that doesnt need just a review , it needs scrapping and re thinking.

I dont like to get political , but 13 years of labor government economic policy has really made the lower earners worse off, 10% tax bracket scrapped fuel duty gone up over 30 pence per litre! The good news is , we are going back up again !

Ben August 17, 2011

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Yes, lets reduce the price of fuel and take much needed money away from our public services. Our royalty is hard enough to sustain and no doubt they will suffer for it as the lower and middle classes continue to whine about everything instead of making do with what they have. I'm proud to be British but i'm not proud of the majority of its lower classes bleeding the country dry. Fuel is a luxury product abused by the poor. How many accidents happen in the more affluent areas? Very little. Keep the prices high. Who's with me?

K.c.b August 16, 2011

report reply to K.c.b

Mitchell in comment 51 says >"Unleaded is not particularly a pressing issue"
Well, it may not be for you mate but it is for us. You no doubt go around in your company car with your company petrol allowance with your road tax paid for and insurance covered. We have to pay for all this ourselves, and wages are frozen.

Nicky August 16, 2011

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Diesel price at Sainsbuys Crayford Kent £137.9, price at the store at Sevenoaks £139.9 = One big fiddle

Kennedy August 16, 2011

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#51 Mitchel.
So by your own admission you work in the "fuel industry", this makes you biased as you have an axe to grind and your own interests to look after, therefore anything you say must be taken with a pinch of salt.

David Robinson August 16, 2011

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Terence Welsh thank you? i was begining to think i was imagining the price of fuel had not altered, Terry Long not a bad idea but as has already been proved most motorists will find any excuse to keep the tanks full most of the cost is the goverment boycotting a particular supplier will make no differance as they will still get the same ammount of tax and vat, yes the suppliers will suffer about time, the only way to force the price of fuel down is a complete boycott of all garages yes it will cause a bit of discomfort for the motorists but hopefully will force the price down = cheeper delivery costs more work cheeper fuel better standard of living for everybody,

Mitchell August 16, 2011

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Why do you continue to argue against something you clearly have little understanding of, you sound like you are quoting the kind of rubbish the daily mail prints about fuel. Arthur is absolutely spot on in what he is saying and clearly understands the mechanism by which fuel is priced.

The barrel price of oil does not have the direct impact on petrol prices that all tabloids seem to think. Oil prices can rise $5 per barrel in one day while petrol prices can be falling.

Fuel duty was lowered 1p, which in the scheme of things is nothing , especially when since last year you are paying an extra 2.5% VAT.

I work in the fuel industry , there is no price fixing, petrol station owners are the worst hit , their ppl margins are the same but as prices rise their % margins are decreasing and being compounded by the knock on effects that high prices do to their volume, hence the reason stations shutting at alarming rates.

Nobody seems to take into account the ethanol and biodiesel elements on fuel, effectively a stealth tax where 5% of all fuel has to be made up of a more expensive "bio" fuel.

The very base price for diesel this morning on the markets was 50.5 ppl for the raw product. Add another 58 p in duty, 3ppl for delivery and after applying VAT the very cheapest you can buy it from wholesalers this morning is 133.8 ppl.

Now stick on a modest margin of 4ppl then a completely fair price is 137.9 ppl.

57.9 ppl tax is a disgrace, especially in a time of high inflation. There is nothing the government can do to control the price traded on markets, manipulation of the exchange rate is not preferable as would make our exports less competitive.

The only thing that would have a direct impact is the duty on fuel.

The government needs to cut duty on Diesel, as the effect on the economy is starting reach a breaking point. Unleaded is not particularly a pressing issue as commercial vehicles are 99% derv.

M Ward August 15, 2011

report reply to M Ward

I whole heartedly agree with the views of (Jan Forrest, 11th July 2011 11:29am), with respect to his comments about the 'Speculators'. This is the underlying reason for most of the problems we are all experiencing now ! Yes they are 'Parasites' and until they are stopped, nothing will change ! Their only motive is rampant greed and to hell with the rest of humanity !

Incidentally, I wonder why in my area, all the Supermarket Petrol stations are exactly the same ? I think we know why ! A phrase that comes to mind is 'Price Fixing' ! This is Rip Off Britain at its BEST !

Terry Long August 15, 2011

report reply to Terry Long

My friends,
our future lies in our hands. All we have to do is use the power of the consumer. If we all boycotted a particular supplier for a couple of weeks and then move onto another supplier the prices would soon come down. Let's start with Esso eh?

Terence Welsh August 13, 2011

report reply to Terence Welsh

If as this article claims supermarkets have slashed prices by 3p how come i have noticed no difference in my area?

Kennedy August 13, 2011

report reply to Kennedy

Well, there's me been in hospital for a few days and, upon my return I find that dear old Arthur is nothing if not consistent with his continued attack on anybody and everybody who dares to air their grievances about the high price of our petrol and diesel.
Perhaps dearest Arthur could enlighten us on the following:
Unleaded petrol is close to it's record price, even though there's been a sustained fall in the cost of Brent crude over the past 4 months, it's 18% down since the beginning of April (according to BBC news at 7 am this morning).
Arthur's usual ammunition here would be the increased V.A.T but that came into immediate effect at the beginning of January (4 months earlier) and as that rate hasn't been changed since then his next argument would be the dreaded tax called "fuel duty", hang on....that was actually LOWERED in this years budget, so now Arthur is struggling but rolls out his bunker buster excuse "it's the exchange rates". Now admittedly the pound is struggling (not unlike Arthur) against the Euro but, against the dollar currently it sits at around $1.6239 to the £ and as we are constantly reminded that oil is traded in dollars and NOT in Euro's then Arthur's argument doesn't hold much credence.
At this point Arthur is chomping at the bit, thinking of the easiest way to rubbish me and this comment. It's easy to see which side of the fence he stands on and it's certainly NOT the side of the motorist.
The fuel retailers have found the highest level they can get away with charging us for their petrol and diesel. I'm not asking for an 18% cut in the price of fuel because I'm not as naive as Arthur seems to think but these pathetic 1p p l reductions are nothing short of an insult. Perhaps we'll be told that we're experiencing the "wrong kind of rain" or "the heat from the sun here is different to everywhere else", it's a fair bet that Arthur will have a cast iron indisputable reason as to why we haven't seen a much bigger drop in the cost of our fuel.

Mitchell August 12, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

Eric, stop talking about something you clearly have no idea about.

At its lowest point this week, diesel is still 1.29 and thats before we even apply a handling or delivery fee to put it into a tank or a bunker system.

The raw cost of blended diesel is roughly 49ppl , and thats before we add VAT on to it! Take into account another 58p taxation and we are at 107 before the delivery costs are factored in and the forecourts can put a very modest margin, then they can add VAT.

A fair price for diesel this week would be a 136.9 level forecourt.

Arthur August 11, 2011

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#44 Eric

Give me you calculations to support your assertion please. I'm very interested.

Eric Fitzgerald August 11, 2011

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Fuel should be down to £1 per litre by now even at the current level of taxation. Oil has been well under $100 dollars(W.T.I.) per barrel for over a month now and the pound has stayed at $1.63. Even north sea oil is down to just over $100.
Clearly these reductions in the price have not been passed on.

Davie Smith August 11, 2011

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Why work when i get everything handed to me on a plate. At least your tax money pays for my beer, cig's and sky tv every week.


Rob Ingram August 10, 2011

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Get a Job and stop spongeing off the state!

on another note.
Oil is now $104 barrel, diesel should be down more.
personally, they should put petrol prices above diesel - less miles for tank etc.
diesel should be 90p per litre, petrol about 1.10p a litre
the gov need to be given a slap and told that the duty is too high.
In work we use Shell Diesel as it is the same price as tesco's, or shell v power diesel which I also use in my car, good mpg so is BP derv as well.

M. August 5, 2011

report reply to M.


Nice to see someone else speak what is actually going on. Well spoken sir.

Arthur August 5, 2011

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#37 Kennedy

I'll let others reflect on your issues with with Pakistanis.

I'm afraid that for "enlightened" one should read 'ignorant'.

Greenergy doesn't refine fuel - you are confusing refineries with terminals. Their fuel isn't sub British Standard - they clearly wouldn't be able to sell it if it was.

The 4p per litre margin is simply fact - not for the "odd independent" but for all "independents" (the majority of UK petrol stations are "independent"). If by "net" you mean after overheads then you are seriously wrong. Many, if not most, independents would dream of making 4p GROSS. Supermarkets make even less margin as they have the grocery sales to subsidise their losses on fuel.

If there was so much money to be made out of selling fuel in the UK then why have so many filling stations closed? Why have Total sold their network and refinery. Why are Murco selling up? Why have BP sold their refineries? Why have Shell just sold Stanlow? Why have Chevron sold their UK and European downstream assets to Valero?

There have been previous MMC investgations into UK fuel retailing - which have found that fuel retailing in the UK is a very competitive market "that works in the interests of the consumer".

You have identified that independents are going out of business (starkly contradicts your view on fuel margins - I'll let you reconcile that one) and that is because fuel prices - and therefore margins - are too low.

Unless you are distinctly anti-capitalism, what is the problem with "local competition"? Why shouldn't Tesco (or anyone else) price according to what the market will pay? Surely competition is a good thing?

I'd be intrigued to know what business you work in Kennedy - you obviously have close to zero knowledge of the fuel industry.

Andrew Watkinson August 4, 2011

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the price may have come down for a week or so but it soon go's up again.
oil has now come down again but all the petrol stations have the same price .
Petrol should be less than £1 if we go of the oil price .
the groverment are the highway robbers of the 21 centrey

Kennedy August 4, 2011

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36 Arthur.
I stand corrected, I shouldn't have stereo typed the proprietors of our local Murco fuel station.

4p per litre? That has to be the "net" figure and frankly I find that a little hard to believe. I wouldn't be able to stay in business and drive my 4 litre Jaguar, have 3 foreign holidays a year if all I was making was 4p per litre. We mustn't forget either that the likes of Tesco and some other supermarkets actually part own some refineries (Greenergy) thereby cutting the "middle man" out, with their own cheaply produced, sub standard fuel going into the lorries that make their delivery drops. The 4p per litre begging bowl figure regularly rolled out to the gullible may well apply to the odd independent who shouldn't/couldn't stay in business if it was true, but for the supermarkets it's closer to 12p+ per litre on a bad day. The enlightened amongst us long ago realised that the "value" fuel sold by the big supermarkets really is just that i.e cheap and nasty, and before the cries of "all fuel is the same" come out, do a simple sight test, put 10 litres of Tesco fuel into one container, and 10 litres of fuel from say Shell, Esso, B.P, Murco (our Pakistani friends) or any other non-supermarket outlet, into another container and then you'll quite easily see that they're NOT all the same.
Steve Maunder in post 33 asks how there can be a 5p variance in Tesco fuel stations just 8 miles apart. We're told that this is all to do with "local competition" to which I say cobblers, they're all in it (and at it) together, it's just a pity that the monopolies commission aren't investigating them.
The big boys are slowly (quite quickly really) pushing the little people out of existence, and in the not too distant future there'll be no independent fuel retailers left, then it'll be too late, if indeed it isn't already.

Arthur August 4, 2011

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Unbelievable that people are posting the same old rants and not reading the answers and explanations.

Is it really hard to grasp the concept that if the raw material cost drops 10% then the price of the finished product isn't going to drop anything like 10%? For a litre of road fuel at 135p, tax alone accounts for 82.25p. From the remaining 52.75p the cost of exploration and refining hasn't got any cheaper, nor has distribution and the filling station operator still has to try and make a profit whilst encountering ever increasing overheads. Retail margins are typically below 4p per litre and the supermarkets have regularly been selling fuel below cost (the massive shed next to the forecourt is, funnily enough, where they make their money).

Kennedy: What is the relevance of the Murco filling station operators being Pakistani?

Kennedy August 4, 2011

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The fact that Tesco could offer up to 15 p p l off fuel for buying certain goods should tell you that they're charging us way too much for fuel in the first place.
Can they really afford to lose £15.00 for every 100 liters they sell under this promotion? My thoughts are they're MAKING £15.00 per 100 liters sold more than they would/used to have when all the variations are put into the figures.
There are none as blind as those who WILL NOT see!

Steve August 4, 2011

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Refering back to the lead story: the release of 'Oil reserves' from various government strategic reserves.

This release totalled around 60 million barrels over several days. Global consumption of hydrocarbons (oils, LPGs, biofuels etc) runs at around 75 million barrels a day - every day. Whichever way you look at it, the 60 million barrel injection is not a long term event (20 hours supply), and will not seriously change the prices we pay at the pump.

As to UK prices: you need to look at the higher 'Brent' oil price instead of the lower US 'West Texas' price. Our fuel costs will be more in line with the Brent figure, which is running at around 20 dollars a barrel more expensive.

Secondly, oil is traded in dollars, and the dollar is relatively weaker than this time last year. So even if the oil price in dollars hasn't changed much since last year the exchange rates of Sterling to dollars will sting us a bit.

Steve Maunder August 3, 2011

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Nearest Tesco is 139.9 for diesel yet Tesco 8 miles away is only 134.7 - where is the justification in that, other than there is no local competition and greed?

John House August 3, 2011

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I think that the changes in the price of the petrol, should influence and the prices of all other thing depend on it - almost everything! But unfortunately other prices get only higher...

Dazz August 2, 2011

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As much as i agree with previous posts im sure your looking at us oil ours is brent crude which is bwt 117 mark or 115 there abouts

Kennedy August 2, 2011

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All that you say makes sense to me.
Considering the weaker £ and increased V.A.T + the 1p per ltr fuel duty drop
we should be paying on average 121.9 for petrol & 124.9 for diesel with the current oil prices. The trouble is that now the fuel retailers have found out how much more they can get away with charging us (134.9 & 138.9) and all we do is grumble about it they're just going to keep on filling their boots. One Murco garage just down the road from me, run by two Pakistani's actually adds 2 p p l to their petrol and diesel prices every Friday about 4 pm, then about 9 am Monday morning they drop that 2 p p l back off. Has anybody else noticed this happening near them?

Hackedofffromsussex August 2, 2011

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Picking up on post #29 I see that as of today the price of oil has risen to $97 a barrel on the back of approval toraise the US debt level. What I want to know is why is the forecourt still charging 140.9ppl for diesel when oil is well below it's previous highs!? Back in 2008 when oil reached £150 a barrel diesel hit the dizzy heights of 134.9ppl, less than it is now when oil is only at $97. To me this is nothing more than sheer greed and exploitation by the forecourt and oil companies.

One of the local garages in Haywards Heath was charging 139.9 for diesel and within 30min had increased it to 140.9. When asked why this was I was given the answer "that it is what everyone else is charging in a 5 mile radius" This country needs a regulator to control fuel levels rather than allowing the motorist to be continually be shafted.

Iain Mcdonald July 29, 2011

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Sterling is stronger versus the dollar, crude oil price is well off it's highs, but aside from a little discounting by the supermarkets (linked to buying groceries), pump prices haven't moved at all. When crude oil was rising in price, the move in pump prices was almost instant, now....not so much! Can anyone explain? This is the biggest hit to consumer spending at present and is causing substantial pain for the economy.

Boo To Peak Oil July 28, 2011

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If I say it once I say it a million times, while the sandal wearing, woolly hatted hippies are trying to get us out of our beloved cars the big elephant in the room is the fuel duty.

Even if they get their way and we all start cycling where do you think the fuel duty is going to go?

Transport will always be expensive as long as the government looks at fuel as a source of income rather than subsidy for roads and transport infrastructure.

Honestly, the higher the fuel prices go the more we will charge for site visits and the more expensive services will become so....

M. July 25, 2011

report reply to M.


Ok I'm an idiot for trying to explain that cost of fuel is not just the price of crude. Do you really need to start your post off with abuse to get your argument across?

"The VAT is dependent on the pre VAT price of the fuel, so naturally as fuel becomes cheaper less tax is added but the percentage of the tax remains the same"

I did not say otherwise, so I'm not sure why you need to bring that up, however while the VAT is indeed % based, the fuel tax is actually fixed, currently at 57.95ppl (explains it on this site too). If you want to attack my post then at least attack when you are armed with the correct facts please.

"but the percentage of the tax remains the same"

So at £1.25 a litre 59.75ppl is the same % of tax as £1.35, clearly not so tax as a percentage of cost actually decreases as the prices goes up. If you are referring just to the VAT rate then yes that has remained at 20%, however we are talking in this blog of a 3ppl drop, that is 0.6ppl less VAT, Again rather than attack my post on it's own read the context of the blog.

"Your 'how the price of fuel works' schooling is not needed"

It is not a school, sorry if I give that impression, it is merely an explanation that the cost of fuel is made up of several factors not just crude, if you read my post you will see it actually responds to other posters asking why it back to normal levels. #17 for example.

"And also Brent oil has been around $118 for the last week so how come they continue to jack up prices even when its not moving up"

I can offer some examples as to why this would happen but I would not want to be seen as an idiot trying to school people as you so politely put it.


Andy July 24, 2011

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Interesting to note that oil prices are now back at levels very similar to that before the SPR release. With things looking very shakey in Europe and also the US (only a few more days to agree the ceiling raising) its surprising to me that oil prices have held up so well. Any ideas other than supply currently lagging due to Libya.

K July 23, 2011

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#23 you're an idiot. The VAT is dependent on the pre VAT price of the fuel, so naturally as fuel becomes cheaper less tax is added but the percentage of the tax remains the same. And also Brent oil has been around $118 for the last week so how come they continue to jack up prices even when its not moving up? Your 'how the price of fuel works' schooling is not needed.

Mitchell July 21, 2011

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I still get annoyed when people talk about correlations between barrell prices and forecourt prices. The biggest factor is the cost of the gas oil future on the ICE in london, then the exchange rate plays its part along with the cost of bio-fuels as most fuels now contain about 4% .

A simple running graph , following the 5 day platts lag, including duty, RTFO obligations and incorporating the bio diesel elements would be usefull, if we make a rough estimate of 4ppl handling fee , it give people a much better expectations of where prices should be rather than watching the price of brent .

M. July 20, 2011

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Were do you get this 10% price reduction? oil dropped to $105 from $120ish, hence the supermarkets announce 3pp price drops, oil is now back at $118 today. This is why prices have gone back to previous levels.

Remember that fuel product cost is not just raw materials, a 10% drop in oil will not equate to 10% on the polesign, the tax, vat, distribution and filling stations costs will remain the same. Tax and Vat are significant factors in the cost


Perhaps a graph showing the $barrell cost which relates to the retail price, that way you could see how quickly a garage goes up or down in relation to the oil movements?

Ricky July 20, 2011

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@David W

Thanks for the suggestion we agree this will be a valuable piece of information, watch this space over the next month ;)


Kieran July 19, 2011

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Pricing almost back to usual levels now. 132.7 at my local ASDA. Managed to fill at Shell yesterday for 131.9 with double points before local garages raised their prices. Complete scam. A 10% barrel reduction, and just a 3% drop in prices. And yet Bishop Auckland continues to see 125.9 prices, wonder what CEO lives there.

David W July 18, 2011

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One thing that is missing on this site and that would be very useful: a simple graph showing trends in pricing over a one year and a (say) four week period. This might enable better informed buying decisions. It would also be very interesting to see if pricing trends were national or regionally based, perhaps on a map.

Many thanks for your excellent site and email alerts.

K.c.b July 18, 2011

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re: #17 & 18,
Another example of "Rip off Britain", and before the usual cries come out asking to prove that "Rip off Britain" is a reality, please enlighten me: When was the last time anybody ever heard the phrase "Rip off Germany" or "Rip off France"?
Very sadly the prefix "Rip off" only ever applies to Britain, and justifiably so.
As Thomas points out in post 18, the petrol/diesel "price war" passed so fast that most people missed it, it was just a marketing ploy. Percentage points for percentage points we're still being charged 10p per litre more than they used to be able to get away with, even after considering the weak £ and increased V.A.T.
Even in our shops and supermarkets, food prices are rising in double percentage figures, and income is stagnant at best.
Rip off Britain continues Ad infinitum.

Thomas Falconer July 17, 2011

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how long did the drop last ? 2/3 days its all back to normal fuel must be a massive scam when it comes to pricing

Mit July 17, 2011

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A corresponding drop of 10% of 133p is 13p. Don't understand why the supermarkets are being so avaricious. They know that they can drop to 120p and still make a profit; and for them to put a condition say, buy something for £x to pay the actual price of £120p is something I would describe as very unfortunate.

Kam Mirza July 17, 2011

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I have just left Asda supermarket in Hatfield. The price of unleaded petrol is.130.7 per litre how come this does not show up on the cheapest price list for my area?

Trevor Paul Clements July 16, 2011

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John Grant July 14, 2011

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I have just left ainsburys supermarket in Bury st edmunds. The price of unleaded petrol is.£1.31 how come this does not show up on the cheapest price list for my area?

Miss July 14, 2011

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Why would anyone think this post is a commercial. The leaders in the fuel market in the UK are well known to everybody. This site is so useful with all the hints and bits of info it gives!

Rene July 14, 2011

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I don't think artificial increase of fuel prices should be used, as Rob Teasle mentioned above, as a tool to educate/ coerce people into using their cars more responsibly. It seems against free choice.

Ricky July 11, 2011

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Looking at the link petrol prices did not get paid for that link, it is not tracked in any way, I am sure Tesco has enough advertising on TV and all over the press.

PetrolPrices is here to save you money on fuel, would you rather petrol prices not mention any of the fuel saving offers that are going on??

Jan Forrest July 11, 2011

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TESCO doing another 'spend £x in store and get xP off per litre'? What an effing waste of my time! With several TESCO and TESCO Extra stores in my area, but no TESCO fuel stations I won't be wasting my money on the likes of this 'offer'.
With one car running on WVO and the other on LPG I either make my own or am forced to buy fuel from Morrisons.
As for the overall rise in crude oil prices: We are all well aware that it is almost entirely driven by the speculators and hedge fund managers who had to move out of the Prime Mortgage Markets when they crashed so spectacularly (along with several banks, taking all my life savings with them) so they cast around for some other commodity to speculate on. Oil seemed like a safe bet to them and all their speculation has actually driven the price up artificially - along with all other energy prices such as electricity and natural gas. As long as these parasites are allowed to get away with it we won't see much in the way of reductions in the wholesale price of most essential commodities in the near future and only increases in the long term.

James July 8, 2011

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How much did petrol prices get paid for this advert? A link to tescos website to find out about this 'mega saving promotion'. Can't have been cheap.

Mitchell July 7, 2011

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Kellerman , id love to know how you draw such conclusions from these reports that you read. The fact that your taking such one sided reports as literal is very closed minded.

Now petroleum usage at record highs? This is just an out and out lie, for one point its still sickenly lower than the 5 year moving average.

There is a technical downtrend occurring with gasoline on ALL point and figure charts that has been happening for a number of months due to the incredibly weak demand for the product at refinery level, even as we come into driving season. Risks in unleaded at the moment are firmly and steeply to the downside during both medium and long terms.

"Chindia" as you call them still dont equate to even half of the US oil consumption! factor in western europe and the total figure dwarfs those economies.

Saying that recession didnt effect them is also ridiculous. How can China sell good to americans and west europeans who cant afford them? They have problems in china at the moment , signalled by a third straight interest rate rise in beijing.

OMJ , Bloomberg , Reuters , US DOE and API all show that total demand is not exceeding 30mbpd like it did in 2008 ofr US&China and has been firmly below it for some months.

Dealing with this everyday i can confidently say that the commodoties market has become a self perpetuating bubble that cant continue, technical fundamentals are ignored and companies like goldman can inflate prices simply at the whisper of $130 per barrell.

You will notice that the hedge fund reports are no where near as enthusiastic on oil as the open spots seem to be at the moment.

Rob Teasle July 6, 2011

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Many people in the UK are still using their cars in a selfish and irresponsible manner and wasting precious fuel.

The answer: Increase the costs of petrol and diesel. Now!

People in the UK are wasting a third of the food they buy.

Answer: Increase the cost of food. Now!

Kellerman July 6, 2011

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Re: Mitchell:

Keith wasn't suggesting it was a release simply because of short supply (the markets are still coping right now, even with Libya shut in). It was more the idea which many will agree with, that the OECD is fed up with the KSA not pumping more to bring prices down, as they happily say they can do. They're not going to pump past 10 mbpd, let alone hit that sky high 15 mbpd they claimed they could. Because, as you say, they're tapped out of the good stuff from Ghawar and the likes of Kurais haven't really done what they hoped either. They have heavy sour, but who wants that?

As for demand, you're looking at Chindia growing more than enough to make up for any slow down in the OECD. Focusing only on the West is myopic at best (the recession hit the rich nations, it certainly didn't taint Brasil, China, India or Russia's enthusiasm). Additionally, US petroleum use is at record highs still. If there's a huge drop in demand for refined product, where is it?

We hit peak light sweet some years ago. Now the heavier, sour oils are the only real things, along with biofuels and distillates, keeping us from having more problems. Don't take my word for it. Check the WEO reports from the IEA. If Birol can see it, we all can (even the ConDem government had a nice report at their hands they tried to bury).

Simon Clarke July 6, 2011

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Your prices for morrison's in my area are 1p per litre too cheap. y postcode is L34 you have quoted a too cheap a price on a couple of occassions how accurate is your data?

Mitchell July 6, 2011

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This mornings trading summary.

Prices are also lower on news that Saudi is struggling to find Asian buyers for its large additional crude surplus with traders reporting the Saudi Arabia "Official Selling Prices" are too high. Traders say that Saudi needs to cut their prices to compete with the new Russia East Siberian Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline which opened on 1 January 2011. The pipeline essentially diverts Russian oil supply from the mature market of Europe to the new growth markets of Asia. With the first commercial contracts now taking effect, it appears that Asian refiners are more inclined to purchase the higher quality and lower cost Russian crude compared to the expensive and heavy Saudi crude.

Mitchell July 6, 2011

report reply to Mitchell

IEA release is all political , designed to exert some manner of control over OPEC , Europe and the US cant operate with such a high barrell price. You may want to look into the release and see that most of the release in europe was actually refined product and not crude. If you really think this was an emergency release then theres no help, it was simply a direct influence on the market forces during driving season in the US.

Saudis can pump as hard as they want, there is simply no demand for heavy crudes, the IEA release is designed to appease the market , especially in the US for light sweet crude, something which is often disrupted in nigeria and obviously shut in due to libyan conflict.

You should note the current supply is above the 5 year moving average and demand is far below the moving average, these prices are unsupported and are as a result of self perpetuating bubbles created by Goldman sachs "enthusiastic" statments.

Keith July 5, 2011

report reply to Keith

You have to ask the question, why would the IEA release 60 million barrels of oil that were supposed to be released only in the event of an emergency?

Saudi's unable to pump any harder perhaps? Is this the plateau? Peak of production reached give or take a few mbpd?

Abiotic? Don't make me laugh.

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