OFT launch review of fuel prices
News entry dated 05th Sep 2012

Today the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the UK’s consumer and competition authority, announced they will be launching a review of petrol and diesel prices at UK forecourts.

The main concern that has triggered this investigation is the price of fuel at the pump and how much it has increased over the years. According to PetrolPrices.com data, petrol prices have risen by 37% from an average price of 97.0 pence per litre in June 2007 to an average of 133.15 pence per litre in June 2012. Diesel rose by 42% in the same period with the average price leaping from 104.0 pence per litre in June 2007 to 147.3 pence per litre in June 2012. Last week the average price for petrol in the UK was 138.8 pence per litre and for diesel 152.1 pence per litre.

Claire Hart, from OFT said:

“We are keenly aware of continuing widespread concern about the pump price of petrol and diesel and we have heard a number of different claims about how the market is operating.

“We have therefore decided to take a broad based look at this sector, to provide an opportunity for people to share their concerns and evidence with us. This will help us determine whether claims about competition problems are well-founded and whether any further action is warranted.”

The OFT have invited the industry, motoring groups and consumer bodies to help them with their investigation and submit any information that may be of use for the review. A range of issues will be reviewed including consumer concern over the price of fuel in rural areas, the possible effect supermarkets and major oil companies are having on independent retailers and the possible lack of competition in the fuel industry. They also want to check whether the falling price of crude oil is actually being reflected in the price of fuel at the pump.

The OFT plan on spending 6 weeks reviewing the information and releasing the results in January 2013. As soon as the results are released we will update you with their findings.

We want to hear what you think of this investigation and whether you think it could have a positive effect on the motoring industry. You can find out more about the review here.

mike April 8, 2014

The price of motor fuel is made up mainly of tax. Remember the fuel protest, that man Blair nearly lost control but he got away with it. The cost of motor fuel (like most of our costs) is due to politicians. What can we do?

John Jukes December 17, 2013

Tesco says that 'Every little helps'.

I examined yesterday's receipt for petrol bought and discovered that all fractions of a penny were rounded up to the nearest whole penny. Simple maths tells me that on average therefore each and every transaction must include a hidden half penny extra-over the value of petrol sold. Given that Tesco has around 450 petrol stations, and assuming that each has a nominal 1000 sales per day ... then, using this very conservative figure for daily transactions it must be that Tesco increases its profits over a twelve month period by just under a £1 million extracted in this manner from the unsuspecting motorist.

So, yes - every little most certainly does help.

To add insult to injury HM Government is also hiding part of the caning it is giving the poor motorist. This petrol receipt included VAT (a misnomer if ever there was one) at 20% on the net value of petrol sold ... which itself includes a 58 pence per litre Government imposed Petrol Duty - so the motorist is also paying a government imposed tax applied to a government imposed tax - is this not a Double Whammy?

    Arthur September 20, 2014

    I'm afraid this old chestnut about 'rounding up' is just wrong. You haven't demonstrated your calculations - so here's a real example for you:

    I recently put in 11.59 litres at 129.7 per litre. That equates to £15.03.223. I was charged £15.03. In other words the amount was rounded DOWN by 0.223 pence or 0.0192 pence per litre.

    Sorry, but this whole idea of 0.9's and 0.7's being a rip off because we only have whole pennies as currency, so every litre must be rounded up, is just a load of hogwash - which is good news as it's one less thing to get stressed about!

JD T October 11, 2013

Was in France end of last month where Diesel was around 19-22 pence per Ltr cheaper than home ! Same over there with different areas having different prices and Supermarkets with cheaper Diesel,petrol being dearer there than here....
So I fiiled up with 80 ltrs at Ouistreham with Esso which was cheaper than the Supermarket for a change !
No wonder the French seam to be doing better than us !

Lionel Ash October 6, 2013

We live in Denbigh not far from Rhyl the price of fuel in Morrisons in Rhyl is £1-29.99, in Denbigh it is £1-35.99 a difference of 6p. I have complained to Morrisons and they say there is more competition in Rhyl, they are discriminating the rural community and we are subsidising Rhyl,this is so unfair and Morrisons need to sort themselves out.

Nicky August 22, 2013

The OFT have done nothing, a waste of tax payers money, Cameron and his cronies must be rubbing there hands together.

frederick jennings August 17, 2013

I don't understand how TESCO in Sleaford can charge 5pence a litre more than TESCO store in LINCOLN ONLY 10 MILES AWAY so if you get a 5 pence off voucher with your shopping in SLEAFORD it's worth the extra drive to LINCOLN to fill up if you are low on fuel and have the cash to do so you can save 10 pence per litre.

Bruce Brassington July 18, 2013

Lets get a Facebook group going!?
Call it UK driver Fuel Protest or something?

norman nixon June 26, 2013

Fuel prices are now down to about 100$ a barrel, price reduction at the pumps NIL, are the motorist in this country stupid, let's all get together with the transport company's and do something about it!

Mike McCunniff June 25, 2013

We all know that in reality, the cost of crude per barrel, has very little to do with pump prices in the UK. Successive greedy governments here keep hiking the duty and tax on our fuel, yet I fully believe there is also a policy of price fixing by retailers. The nearest town to me ( Hexham, Northumberland ) is fifteen miles away, and has only one filling station there. No competition, and a thirty mile round trip added to high duty and tax, equals angry motorists. What do the motorists of Britain in similar circumstances, or even those in high density urban areas do? Bugger all, we just sit back and take it. It's about time the motorists, and the road hauliers of the UK, joined as one and told the government of the day, WE the people you were elected to serve have had enough. WE, the entire population of the British Isles, CAN force change IF we work together. It's either that or we let the chancellor stick it to us in every budget.

Lizzie. June 1, 2013

I still can't come to terms with the result of OFT's investigations even though I knew what the outcome would be.
Prices are on the up again. Why is it they go up in 3's but only come down in 1's? The recent "price war"...ha ha, that's a good 'un, up to 3 pence per liter off. All those that did bother only took 1 pence off and that was short lived.

Mike McCunniff May 14, 2013

How is it that most EU member countries have fuel priced much lower than the UK. At the moment WE are also an EU member but our fuel prices have rocketed, we all know that our government rob us blind with high taxes on fuel. They then cause food prices to rise due to higher transportation costs, and with VAT at 20% get even more into the coffers. Consumers in this country are stuffed at both ends.

alan clarke May 12, 2013

I agree with Geoff,
How can an EU member country smaller than UK have the cheapest fuel in Europe? the cost of Crude is the same for all or should we look at taxes levied by Government?

ivan May 10, 2013

I think cyclists should have mot tax insurance to help pay towards the special roads that have been built also the added safety to car drivers. Times I've swerved at night cause there's a cyclist wearing black at night no reflectors or lights or high vis, I have to have this all working on my car to use roads so maybe cyclists should have a mot check lights mudguards reflectors tyres brakes wheels safety helmet & obey traffic lights & cycle on roads not paths.

ivan May 10, 2013

Well the vat makes money on fuel for roads / repairs, ok vat also makes it harder for companies who are struggling knock on effect prices increase everywhere taxis supermarkets food etc. Well why did the government have tax exempt vehicles & new cars paying nowt plus the bonus the newer cars do 70mpg oh look rich win win win then us poorer have a much higher tax bracket for emissions or cc when the newer 2.0 ltr is a pittance on tax so not right, scrap road fund for everyone saving millions on tax discs & police's time chasing cars unnecessary at high speeds leading to high speed accidents, add a percentage on fuel not vat fairer system less paperwork & unnecessary tax discs & expensive police cameras to detect dodgers.

Geoff Lee April 20, 2013

How can anybody possibly have any concerns about a review of petrol prices, when we all know that it is the government who are the biggest robbers of all. Look at the percentage of the prices for both petrol and diesel that they take. It is criminal!!

norman nixon April 19, 2013

There is still some robbing garages charging 144.9 for diesel, and Sainsbury at Tonbridge has not reduced there prices as promised.

nicky April 16, 2013

15/4/2013, Oil under $100 a barrel, so they knock off 2p, we are still being ripped off!

Jules April 15, 2013

Brent crude is now 101.00$ a barrel today with the dollar/sterling exchange rate at 1.53.
So the oil price has come down approx 17$ in the last few weeks while the pound has strengthened.... Yes I am seeing 1.37 to 1.39 at the pumps still !! What is going on ? We are about 15p a litre more than we should be at the moment....
The price in sterling for a barrel of oil is quite a bit less than when oil peaked at 140$ a barrel a few years back and the price of unleaded then was 1.20.

    Steven Brian April 25, 2013

    In May/June 2008 when oil peaked at $140 the exchange rate was 1.964, the VAT rate was 17.5% and duty was 50.33 ppl. Today the exchange rate is 1.54, the VAT rate is 20% and duty is 57.95ppl. This equated to an 18 pence difference in retail price. The cost of fuel does not just depend on the price of a barrel.

nicky April 9, 2013

Did you notice this week when the price of oil went down it took about a week to go down at the pumps, it when up slightly yesterday today the price went up at the pumps, does that tell you anything or am I thick.

alistair shields April 5, 2013

I cannot believe that the sticky downward prices were not visible to this review - where exactly did they check?