The price of petrol is 7p a litre too expensive, according to breakdown giant the RAC.
The motoring organisation said it is urging fuel retailers big and small to “reflect the drop in the wholesale price of unleaded with a significant cut at the pumps.”
Since the beginning of October oil has been trading around $60 a barrel, falling at one point to $57.74 which has caused the wholesale price of petrol to fall steadily since 7 October, it said.
It added that drivers are “losing out badly”, paying around 7p a litre more for petrol than they should be, as the average price of petrol is 127.58p, rather than 121p, meaning a driver filling up a 55-litre family car is paying £3.85 too much (£70.40 today, instead of £66.55).
“Drivers can always tell when pump prices are too high as they will see supermarkets offering them significant money off at the pumps after spending certain amounts in store. We realise there is a real customer loyalty benefit to them doing this which means there is a little incentive for other retailers to drop their prices,” said Simon Williams, the RAC’s fuel spokesman. “Other than the RAC highlighting this issue through monitoring wholesale and retail prices, there is little that can be done to get retailers to charge a fair price for fuel which reflects changes in the wholesale market. We would rather not see some form of price cap introduced as this will inevitably lead to smaller retailers closing down which would negatively affect those living rural communities who don’t mind paying a little more for their fuel for the convenience. We just need retailers to be more transparent with their pricing in falling wholesale fuel market.”
He added: “For some reason in the last year or so our biggest retailers haven’t been as transparent with their pricing as they have been in the past which means motorists all over the country lose out as a result of them taking more margin than they have previously. Diesel, which is currently averaging 131.55p a litre, should also be cut as its price is more than 5p too expensive. In reality it should be being sold for around 127p which would make it a penny cheaper than petrol is now.”