Supermarket giant ASDA cut the price of its fuel by 2 pence a litre last Thursday following the drop in wholesale prices, leaving other supermarkets to scramble to keep their prices competitive. The reduction will bring its price to a national cap of 111.7 pence per litre for unleaded. The cap will apply to all 305 of ASDA’s filling stations, including 10 in Northern Ireland.

ASDA fuel price cut, did other petrol retailers follow?

ASDA leads the changes

The price of wholesale dropped to $48 a barrel last week, prompting the move by the supermarket chain. It is currently the only retailer that has a national price cap in place, which ensures no driver will pay more than the cap figure of 111.7 pence per litre at any filling station anywhere in the UK.

Dave Tyrer, Head of Petrol Trading at ASDA, said the move showed that ASDA was once again leading the market in terms of the price of fuel at the pumps and aimed to help millions of motorists around the country. The price cap applies to both unleaded and diesel and comes ahead of the busy summer period.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams confirmed the move was excellent news for motorists. He added that it was particularly good to see a major supermarket reducing the cost of diesel so that it was in line with the cost of petrol. Currently, the wholesale price of both fuels is very similar.

Current trends

Of the four main supermarkets that offer fuel, this price change means that ASDA is currently the cheapest. Its price has fallen from 113.9 pence per litre in April to the new low of 111.7 pence per litre last week. Its nearest competitor is Morrisons, whose price was 112.2 pence per litre, while both Sainsbury’s and Tesco were selling unleaded at 112.7 pence per litre.

 

June 17th Change (ppl) June 20th
BP 118.5 1.5 117.4
Shell 118.1 1.5 117.2
Esso 117.3 1.5 116.3
Texaco 117.4 1.5 116.5
Gulf 117.9 1.5 117.5
ASDA 112.7 0.8 111.7
Sainsbury’s 113.8 1.1 112.7
Tesco 114.1 1.4 112.7
Morrisons 112.9 0.7 112.2

Source: PetrolPrices.com

The price gap between supermarkets and service stations remains considerable, especially in light of the drop in wholesale prices. Prices for unleaded at major service stations are on average 4 or 5 pence per litre more than at supermarkets.

This shows that currently, supermarkets offer great value for money for motorists and the added bonus of being able to fill up while shopping is attractive to many. Plus, you can also collect loyalty points with some of the supermarkets that can reduce your fuel and food bills even further.

Super unleaded trends

The picture remains different on the super unleaded pumps, with supermarkets ASDA and Morrisons currently not offering a version of this product. Both Sainsburys and Tesco do and their prices at this point were very similar, at 118.6 pence and 118.4 pence per litre respectively. As mentioned in last week’s article about super unleaded, there are now many places to buy it at the same price as, or cheaper than, unleaded.

Again, costs at service stations for super unleaded were higher than those at supermarkets which offer the product. Prices varied from 127.2 pence (Texaco) to 129.2 pence (BP) for motorists wanting to fill up with this fuel.

Positive trend

With the other supermarkets already saying they are following the lead set by ASDA and reducing their prices, this shows signs of a positive trend as we move into summer. Prices have been unchanged in recent weeks, despite the falling price of wholesale fuel. As we move into the busy summer period, it is good news that the supermarkets are lowering fuel prices to help motorists keep money in their pocket for other essentials. Supermarkets remain the go-to place for great prices on petrol and diesel.

What do you think about the recent price changes? Do you think we could be seeing sustained reductions in prices or is this a temporary fall before an increase? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Image credit:  “Petrol prices” by morebyless is licensed under CC BY 2.0  / image manipulated to show pricing.

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