A retailer in the UK cut the price of unleaded petrol to 147.7p per litre last month, leading to a call from the RAC for others to follow suit.
Membership-only wholesale supermarket Costco reduced the price of unleaded at its forecourts by 8 pence on 24 November. 147p is 12 pence lower than the average price of unleaded at UK supermarkets, and 14 pence lower than the UK average as a whole. The price of diesel at Costco is also significantly lower than the rest of the UK, at 171.6p per litre. Some branches of Costco have gone even further, with the Chester branch offering unleaded at 142.9p and diesel at 166.9p.
The average price of unleaded in the UK in November was 161.9p, and diesel was 186.13p.
While there have been long queues at Costco forecourts for its members, the RAC has reacted by calling on the country’s leading supermarkets to offer customers a better deal on fuel.
“Drivers who aren’t fortunate enough to be members of Costco will no doubt be horrified to see just how cheaply fuel can be sold,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams. “Even accepting Costco operates on pretty thin margins the supermarkets should be slashing their prices.”
Last month the RAC asked the major UK supermarkets to cut their prices by 5p per litre. Since then wholesale costs have fallen even further.
“Given the huge gap between wholesale fuel prices and the averages charged by the supermarkets, it could be argued that drivers are being deprived the benefit of the Government’s 5p duty cut”, said Mr Williams. “This is unfair and we hope it is being duly noted by both the Government and the Competition and Markets Authority which is currently investigating UK fuel retailing.”
The cost of fuel in mainland Europe and France is also lower than in the UK.