Despite wholesale fuel prices dropping, the UK is paying above the odds at the pump for their petrol. The AA released a statement demanding transparency in pump prices.
Edmund King, the AA’s president, said: “It is irrelevant whether retailers are trying to compensate for lower volumes of sales or supermarkets are choosing to convert fuel cost savings into cut-price toilet cleaner offers. European fuel retailers are under similar strains yet they passed on much of the wholesale petrol price reduction.”
According to the AA, Europe prices saw a 4.3% drop between the middle and end of January. The European average petrol pump price on 7th February was 3% lower than it was three weeks prior.
The AA has called for a transparent publishing of wholesale versus pump prices, which they think would protect retailers and consumers alike. Along with transparency, the AA wants a price regulator appointed, to act as a broker between markets, retailers and consumers.
Luke Bosdett, an AA spokesperson, said: “The regulator wouldn’t say what to charge, but would play a role like Ofgem does, a local community could make a complaint to them.”
Such systems are in place in the UK, Australia and South East Asia and allow greater competition, according to the AA.
Brian Madderson, Chairman of RMI Petrol, questioned the AA’s findings: “RMI Petrol questions the relevance and accuracy of the AA’s comparison between euro currency zone costs and pricing with the sterling influenced UK market. The PLATTS and BIG OIL daily cost tracking mechanism confirmed that the wholesale costs to the UK independent petrol retailers showed trend increases for both petrol and diesel in January and February on almost every day. There can be no case for reckless accusations, yet again, of price ‘rip-off’ by the independent sector. ”