Independent retailers are giving customers better petrol and diesel prices, according to the RAC.

The research by the RAC also found that the vast majority of forecourts are not charging a fair price at the pumps, despite the recent fall in wholesale oil prices.

Only 10% of more than 4,500 UK forecourts are charging close to the 174p that RAC Fuel Watch believes is the fair price for a litre of unleaded petrol, based on its analysis of Experian Catalist price data from mid-July. The average price at the time was 188p per litre, and only 157 petrol stations in the RAC’s survey were charging between 170.9p and 179.9p. 125 of these are independently owned, and only 28 major supermarket forecourts.

The same goes for diesel, where the RAC calculated that a reasonable price per litre of diesel was 189p in mid-July, but only 250 of 4,805 forecourts were charging between 180p and 189.9p. Again, 192 of these were independently owned. The days appear to be over of the fuel wars, when it was the big supermarkets that led the way in competing with each other to offer lower fuel prices to customers.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers who fill up at supermarket forecourts have every right to feel let down that they are being charged well over the odds for petrol and diesel right now."

“Weekly wholesale petrol prices – that’s the price retailers pay to buy the fuel – have fallen by a massive 17p a litre, from a weekly average of around 152p at the start of June to just 135p this week. Yet average pump prices have reduced by a paltry 4p. It’s time for every retailer to do the right thing and cut their prices to more reasonable levels,” said Williams.

“Supermarkets seem to prefer to battle over grocery prices which, while helpful, is ignoring the huge sums households are having to fork out for fuel to keep their cars running.”