Supermarkets facing backlash over charging customers £9 more per tank of diesel

UK supermarkets are facing backlash over allegedly hiking up diesel prices so that customers pay £9 more, on average, per tank.

According to the RAC’s Fuel Watch guide, the wholesale price of diesel – which is the amount fuel stations pay for their supplies – dropped below the price of petrol for the whole month of April.

The insurance company says the wholesale diesel price is now 6p a litre below that of unleaded, yet diesel fuel on average remains a whopping 13p per litre more expensive when drivers are filling up at supermarkets and independent filling stations.

Last month, Morrisons helped its customers to save money on fuel with an exclusive offer – by offering 5p off every litre at the pumps.


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The average cost of filling up a family car is now £80.60 for unleaded, and £87.69 for diesel drivers.

Meanwhile, the RAC calculated that diesel drivers should be paying £143p per litre at the very most, instead of the average £159p they’re forking out currently.

Their data also suggests that retailers are retaining large 22p per litre margins on diesel, compared to the 8p per litre they make on unleaded. But the margin for both fuels is meant to be 7p per litre.

“Diesel drivers across the UK mainland continue to lose out badly at the pumps. They’re paying 13p a litre more for the fuel than petrol, despite petrol being cheaper for retailers to buy on the wholesale market for all of April,” RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said.

“This just isn’t fair for the country’s 12 million diesel car drivers. We feel there should be an obligation on retailers to reflect wholesale price movements on their forecourts.

“The independent sector accounts for approximately 36% market share by fuel sale while the supermarkets are market leaders at 45%”, Williams said.

He added: “Due to their market share, supermarkets are price leaders and in many cases our members will use them as markers for pump prices when operating in the same area.

“This dynamic is now shifting, with many commentators noting that independent forecourts are increasingly offering more competitive prices.”

He concluded: “We realise retailers need to make a profit but a margin of 22p on every litre of diesel can only be seen as outrageous and a slap in the face to those who depend on it, whether they’re consumers or businesses,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

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