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.

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