It’s hard to believe, and perhaps it gets lost with the differences between forecourts, but November saw petrol and diesel prices drop for the fourth consecutive month, by an average of £0.005 per litre.
However, motoring experts say that fuel is still overpriced, and the AA say that supermarkets aren’t helping the situation with their ‘deals’; spend £60 in-store and get 10p off a litre of fuel. It’s thought that only around 1/3 of motorists regularly spend this amount when grocery shopping.
Fuel price drop
Fuel price analysts say that fuel is still overpriced, and considering that supermarkets have the margins to lower forecourt costs by up to £0.05 per litre, they should be doing more to help drive the prices down, and given that wholesale costs are low, they should be doing this.
The Fuel Watch report carried out by the RAC, says that prices for last month fell by £0.0048 for petrol, and £0.0044 for diesel in the same period, making the average price per litre drop from £1.26.41 to £1.25.93 (unleaded) and £1.30.27 to £1.29.83 (diesel).
This means that the average cost to fill a 55-litre tank is £69.26 (unleaded) and £71.41 (diesel), which is almost a couple of pounds less than the prices being paid in the summer. Since the beginning of August, fuel prices have dropped by around £0.03.31 for unleaded and £0.02.21 for diesel.
Of course, we at PetrolPrices could argue that downloading our app could potentially save you more than that anyway (with potential savings of over £220 per year), but in a survey carried out by the AA, consumers want to see more action being done to regulate prices, including forced time periods for following the wholesale cost; so that a forecourt had to reduce the price within a certain timescale.
The AA surveyed nearly 18,000 members, 73% agreed that the Government should set a maximum timescale for retailers to pass on savings, and 86% agreed that they thought supermarkets had the cheapest fuel.
With that said, supermarkets have come in for some heavy criticism, thanks mainly to the spend & save deals linked to fuel. Just 34% of the respondents to the survey said they would regularly spend £60 or more on groceries, and for those aged between 18-24, that figure fell to just one in ten.
When these schemes were first introduced, the ‘spend’ figure had variables – spend £20 for 2p per litre saving, £30 for a three pence saving, but these have gone by the wayside as supermarkets look to maximise their revenue, and in-store spending. 58% of the survey said that they thought supermarket vouchers were an underhand way of getting consumers to spend more.
One supermarket retailer did come out of it well though – ASDA had the cheapest fuel at the end of November, with retailers such as Sainsburys and Morrisons charging nearly two pence extra for diesel. It was also reported that significant savings at the pump (rather than through a voucher) only really happens when ASDA triggers a fuel price war.
Overall, consumers think that supermarkets have the cheapest fuel, and statistics do bear that out – averagely, supermarket fuel is £0.04.70 cheaper per litre than at other, regular forecourts, so clearly they’re doing something right, but is it enough?
It’s easy to say ‘vote with your feet’, but for some, that just isn’t practical; my nearest ASDA for example is seven miles away, an easy twenty-five minute journey each way, so I’d be faced with almost an hour’s driving for a small saving.
But … if you’re combining it with a trip for groceries also, then that could work for you, it certainly influences my shopping choice, and I can’t be alone. What would happen if people did start voting with their feet and using supermarkets in such a manner? You can easily see the likes of Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons having to compete, because they’d be losing both forecourt and retail revenue.
For some people, fussing over a penny or two saved at the forecourt is just an annoyance, but for others, it can be the difference between staying in the black, or hitting the red, and it shouldn’t be that way. Did you know that there are now more foodbanks than branches of the clown themed fast food restaurant?
Should supermarkets be doing more to help those on the breadline? Do you think that their ‘spend & save’ voucher is a good idea? Or just an underhand way of generating revenue? Let us know in the comments.
I live in Market Drayton which is about 18 miles from Shrewsbury to the east and Stoke about the same distance to the west yet Morrisons consistently charge 2p a litre more for fuel here than either of the other two places. I have written to them about it but they say it is because of the distance from the storage tanks! How can that be when we are in the middle? Nothing to do with lack of competition of course! Here we only have the one supermarket and the other towns have many more. Like your cheapest fuel ap which I use if away.
I notice this with Morrisons in my local area where there are 5 to choose from. The one without any competition is consistently 2/3p more per litre.
ALL fuel retailers are guilty of overcharging us for fuel. They do it because they can. They charge what they think they can get away with and will undercut other retailers in the local area by the least amount possible. This is tantamount to price rigging. The whole industry needs investigated as it looks like there are some very shady practices going on. However, no government is going to instigate an investigation as they are very happily screwing the motorist over at every opportunity they get. If you drive a vehicle in the UK you are a cash cow Simple as that. The motorist rarely see any change in the price of fuel because when the price of oil goes up you get used to paying that amount so the retailers are happy to keep you paying the same or similar amounts when the price of oil decreases. And OPEC are just as guilty. Reducing the amount of oil in the marketplace to keep the price per barrel high. It’s all a scam.
Well said and unfortunately so TRUE!!! As more and more people start to drive hybrid and electric cars the prices should keep dropping all the time but I guarantee that this will not be the case.
and then add to the fact that the motorist has, for DECADES been used as a cash cow by consecutive governments, not just to maintain the road inrfastructure, but to support so many other government costs not remotely connected to motorists/motoring. what is commonly known as ‘road tax’ to most (Vehicle Excise Duty i believe its correct name is now, it keeps changing) ALONE nets the government £6 BILLION!!!! (according to 2016 figures, it will be increasing now as newer cars all pay except zero roadside emission vehicles) and thats before the insurance premium tax, the fuel tax, teh VAT on the fuel AND the tax that is already paid on the fuel (so we pay a tax on a tax!)
I believe supermarkets could do a lot more. People can’t afford the £60 just to save a few pence a litre. Also, the vouchers have an expiration date on them which is typically a week at Sainsbury’s so for me they are virtually useless!
Two weeks voucher life for both Tesco and Sainsbury fuel vouchers. Once it is advertised, the promotion usually lasts for two weeks which means you can plan your shopping so that you DO spend £60 on one shop before the two weeks are up and then you have another two weeks to buy the fuel. At the current price of fuel, if you don’t need a full tank by the end of the two week eligibility, then your car usage is probably not enough to make it worthwhile going through the planning. In our house we have one vehicle that goes 30 miles to Norwich on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 35 to Newmarket on Wednesdays and 7 on Tuesdays, double those figures to come home again. Say 264 per week. Two days off, to do any personal things. Hybrid car which helps a bit but one big shop per fortnight of £60 is realistic, topping up on the way home from work for fresh foods. The fuel vouchers is a bonus! Household of three by the way.
At the end of the day, Morrison’s is a business, and they want to make money. A £60 shop for 10p per litre saving on fuel is not bad. Just go in and get stuff with long dates to last you the month, cleaning products, washing tabs, toilet rolls, freezer food, household items, clothes for the kids, you’d soon spend your £60, it’s not like you’re gonna do it every week. I can’t see why anyone would kick off about it, you just need to shop logically for one week and fill up your tank for less, or is that too much to ask for some people ???
I personally take advantage of these deals whenever they’re on, and over the month I spend the same as I would have done if I didn’t have to spend that £60 in one of the weeks, just saying
Join the discussion…Absolutely right Paul. Another poor article about nothing from PP. Supermarkets don’t have to give you any vouchers at all, full stop, so stop whining! And who are the bloomin’ AA to start telling supermarkets how to run their business?! So, it’s a cynical way to get you to go into their supermarket and buy more stuff? Well, DUH, as someone younger might say. Always, always, always vote with your feet. If you’re not happy with the deal, go somewhere else … and if “somewhere else” is too far away from you, then clearly you’re not unhappy enough, so stop moaning!
For all the people who are saying that £60 is reasonable, and try being a single parent and managing on a budget. It is absolutely right of AA to call out the supermarket for foul play as it means only the rich get to save money on their fuel. How is it fair?
£60 limit spend isn’t to bad, we spend between 45 and 55 each week so when the offer is on, a few extra cans of beans or top up the freezer is no hassle and on a 60 litre tank and putting 55 litres in, it equals a £5.50 saving that is not to be ignored. If you are daft enough to just put 10 litres in and save a £1 which I think is a waste of a voucher that is up to you, Which I might do that at the end of the offer if I was passing.
My average spend is £30, as an elderly vegetarian living alone with just 1 dog. Using the time limits is clever, but Sainsburys is 15 miles away and the Morrisons supermarkets in Bridgwater don’t have the range of stock in the local town. I’m not going to spend extra in a branch that has half of my normal shopping list missing. I did find the Hereford branch extremely good last Christmas, and the other customers were very nice too. I had already filled up in Leominster, and used Sainsbury’s for more fuel nearer home.
I have 2 Asdas with fuel stations a Morrison, 2 Sainsburys and 2 Tescos all with fuel all within 8 miles, all big stores not convenience ones
but why dont they just knock 2-3 p per litre off the fuel to start with so theres no need for these offers? i live alone and unless my freezer is empty AND the cupboards are empty to stock up on non perishables, theres no WAY i could store or spend £60 on food. plus since being laid off at work my budget simply wont stretch to it (and before anyone says it, my car is essential due to my personal circumstances)
In my area the cheapest fuel at supermarkets is 15-20 miles away, but I manage it with reducing my mileage, and running fuel buying in with other errands, or on the way to visit family and friends. I use Petrol prices to find the cheapest local station if I don’t have an excuse to use the best value station. When buying locally I buy enough to last me until I can fill up more cheaply. Because of silly parking charges I buy petrol on the same errand as shopping, 6 miles each way, and taking my dog for a walk, but still use a different fuel station if it is cheaper.
I live in Milton Keynes and Morrisons were selling unleaded at £1.12 before there spend £60 and get 5p an ltr off now the price is £1.20 an ltr so your not saving anything really, I think the government should make it compulsory that after a price rise or fall there should be a limited time for then to sort the prices out and scrap there spend and get off fuel premotions.
From an Indendent fuel retailer’s point of view it is maddening. They are cross-subsidising. They are ‘selling’ their fuel at below cost price to entice drivers to buy goods in their supermarket. Is that an abuse of power, or fair trading?
Isn’t it so that the price of groceries are higher in the likes of Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco? They can be found in Aldi and Lidl for less. I know that, you know that. Is that an abuse of power or fair trading?
I see all these rants about the price of road fuel. I say to those of you who do. If it is so easy to run a fuel station and make a profit, why do you not form a co-operative and get stuck in?
Remember though, the number of fuel outlets has been falling. Does that ‘say something’?
if they are selling fuel at below cost price, are you seriously telling me they spend all the money on the filing station, shop etc and STILL lose money on the fuel JUST to get you in the main supermarket? i dont think so! and every independent fuel station owner i know has an EXTREMELY good lifestyle, if they sell fuel at 5p per litre more than supermarkets and supermarkets are selling it at a LOSS as you claim!
I certainly don’t spend £60 regularly to get money off grocery vouchers. I pointed out to Tesco (via email) that I’m increasingly shopping in Aldi (but certain things only found in Tesco – eg some Free From items and fruit and veg not swaddled in plastic: still very much room for improvement, after many years of asking!). So recently Tesco have listened, and now the vouchers are usually money off if I spend £40. Worth a try for others….
Why don’t the RAC stop criticising the Supermarkets who are giving us the best prices on fuel and start tackling the motorway service stations who are giving us the worst?!!!
I won’t use supermarket fuel, whatever the discount.
I only use super diesel or super unleaded in my cars…..the are much better for the engines,,,,,and the cars have more economy and a bit more power.
I have had friends who have had engine problems with supermarket fuel….and it cost them a lot of money the put right.
I have used supermarket fuel, petrol and diesel for 30+ years and never have had a problem and neither have my family and friends, I have heard of a problem but never come across it myself
I rarely have a spend of £60 but I use my nectar points from time to time as part payment which gives me a small saving. I have to drive 7 miles to the nearest fuel station which does happen to be a Sainsbury’s, and ASDA which is a about a mile further does keep the price competitive.
Get a Tesco credit card and spend on fuel at Sainsbury’s and get both nectar and Tesco points, been doing it for years
Just another form of greed. The motorist suffers yet again unkess of course one spends 60 quid
So, spend £60 on groceries, 10p off 55lts = £5.50 saved.
Go to Aldi get same groceries for under £45, get 55lts of fuel at full price, still saving £9.50.
Not so because you have to go to one of the big 4 to get what the German stores don’t sell, so more miles in the car and time spent shopping
I never let offers like this influencemy fuel purchases…. If you assume the supermarket works on a margin of 40% then buying £60 worth of goods gives them £24 profit. If you put in 80 litres of fuel you save £8… Now ill bet they are working on the principle that so few people spend £60+ then the number of £8 savings would be countable on the fingers of Captain Hooks poorly hand!
Something is better than nothing
I don’t like these spend and save promotions as I live on my own, on a pension and never spend the minimum to get the vouchers. These promotions only benefit families with big grocery bills
I as a pensioner do go for these offers, if you spend the extra on stuff that keeps like freezer stuff, canned stuff, toiletries, items you would buy and use anyway then you are not buy for the sake of the offer.
People wanted to leave the EU, Now you need to buy British to make it work b, but it is very hard as I have a British branded car and it was built in Germany that is French owned and there is only Morgan left and they don’t have a boot
If you think about it, it costs you £1.26 to drive about 10 miles. So it costs about 12p per mile to drive your car. Typical fill up is maybe 40 litres. So if save 5p per litre that’s 200p. If you drive more than 16 miles then you have spent more than you have saved. In my view you should always fill up when you are passing a supermarket and not make a special journey.
In Farnborough hants Morrisons petrol is currently 1.22p Shell and Esso 1.28.99 p. why would you not take advantage of that.
A 6pence saving per litre.
I think rather than the RAC going for the “quick Kill” how about tackling BP and Shell? My local Asda and Tesco are at 1.22 for Diesel but BP are at 1.34 that is like 12p per litre… on my car that means a minimum fill up is £7.20. I personally think that it’s time these Oil retailers were told to clean up their act as they bleat on that they can’t compete but continue to charge 20% more in their shops… I can’t remember the last time I used a BP on principal. Don’t even get me started on the Motorway service stations that us drivers now call “Splash and Dash” these are regularly are at £1.49 per litre and all the trucks have to fill up here, who pays the price? the consumer does… What is the RAC and AA doing about that… ?
Can’t think where you must live, for a 7 mile journey to take you 25 minutes, central London? Before either the AA or RAC criticise Supermarkets regarding their fuel prices, they need to look at the prices they charge for their Breakdown Membership. Mine goes up and up every year, regardless of whether I have used it or not. They need to look at what they charge compared to other Breakdown Services. At one time you got discount for Loyalty, but if I were to cancel and then re-join I could do so at a very reduced rate….at least for the first year! Before anyone suggests it…yes I will be changing after over 25 years with the RAC!!!