Back in May, we reported that one in 10 petrol stations were selling diesel at or below the price of unleaded petrol. At the time, wholesale diesel prices were four to five pence a litre lower than petrol, but in most cases, diesel drivers were being charged more.
This week we have seen that one in three petrol stations are now selling diesel at or below the price of unleaded petrol and in the case of Tesco forecourts this number is one in two.
The supermarkets have come under increased pressure from the government and motoring groups since the release of the Competition and Markets Authority report on fuel prices published at the start of the month.
Since the start of June, diesel retail prices have dropped 1.4ppl nationally, while wholesale prices have increased over 6ppl. Over the same period, unleaded prices have remained broadly unchanged at a retail and wholesale level. This squeezes the retailers’ margins and starts to correct the additional cost they have been putting on motorists.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, has spoken with fuel retailer bosses this week and has demanded “an immediate end to overcharging.” The government has also told fuel retailers they “must hand over their price data.” At the moment, there aren’t any details about how or when the new scheme will be implemented.
Despite Tesco having lower diesel prices when compared to unleaded petrol in many locations, they don’t have the lowest diesel prices overall. Asda and Morrison’s are offering the lowest prices on both diesel and petrol across the UK.
Both petrol and diesel prices have remained steady at the pumps over the past two weeks as the price reduction has stalled since the start of the year. Prices are, on average, just 0.50ppl lower than one week ago.
Wholesale prices have increased slightly since the beginning of the month, which may lead to prices creeping higher at the pumps in the near future.
Diesel is once again trading high than unleaded on the wholesale market. This could lead to diesel retail prices once again increasing over petrol.
Will the increase in government intervention mean retailers are less likely to increase prices, or will we start seeing the supermarkets lead the way with incremental increases? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.