Supermarkets push average price of fuel up 2p per litre

The average price of a litre of fuel rose by 2p in December as three major supermarkets increased their prices.

Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco all increased prices by 3p per litre, despite wholesale prices only increasing by just over 1p.

Asda was the only major supermarket to raise prices appropriately, increasing by 1.5p per litre.

The data comes from RAC Fuel Watch, which shows the average price of petrol went up 2.07p to 116.46p per litre, and the average price of diesel increased 2.28p to 120p per litre.

The RAC says its analysis shows motorists should be paying around 113p for petrol and 118p for diesel.

Despite the increases, supermarket prices were about 4p cheaper for unleaded and 4.5p cheaper for diesel.

The cost of filling an average 55-litre tank has gone up by £1.14 to £64.05 for petrol, and £1.25 to £66 for diesel. Topping up at a supermarket would save about £2 per tank.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s very disappointing to see some of our biggest fuel retailers putting up their prices over and above the increases seen on the wholesale market.

“There’s a definite feeling that they have been trying to protect themselves for what was to come in terms of further coronavirus restrictions.

“While wholesale prices went up very slightly in December our data shows there should be scope to lower forecourt prices rather than put them up.

“Retailers will no doubt argue that the pandemic is leading to drivers filling up far less so their ‘per litre’ profits are considerably down, and Monday’s announcement of another lockdown will be treated as justification for their decision not to pass savings on at the pumps.

“Unfortunately, those who still need to fill up regularly are having to pay more than they should be as, by our calculations, both fuels should actually come down by 3p a litre in the next fortnight.

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