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RAC issues plea for immediate pump price cuts

Press Release   •   Jul 28, 2016 00:01 BST

The RAC is today issuing a plea to fuel retailers to play fair with UK motorists by immediately cutting the price of both unleaded and diesel at the pumps, in the wake of falling oil and wholesale fuel prices.

The oil price, currently the biggest factor determining UK fuel prices besides fuel duty, is now at its lowest level since early May – around $43 a barrel. As a result, wholesale costs including VAT – the price retailers buy fuel for – have been falling for nearly a month and currently stand at 103.65p for petrol and 104.32p for diesel. Despite this, pump prices have remained largely static during this time, at around 112p on average per litre and with some motorway services charging as much as 127p per litre.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “There is now a compelling case for an immediate price cut of 3p per litre off the price of both petrol and diesel at forecourts. That would take average prices down to around 109p per litre, and would see some of the most competitive retailers selling unleaded and diesel around 106p.

“We would hope that retailers are not taking advantage of public perceptions that fuel prices would rise following the Brexit vote last month, as the wholesale market is clearly showing a downward trend in prices right now. Retailers have a reasonable recent record of passing cost savings on, and we would like to think the fact they have not yet done this is a blip rather than a new norm.

“Another dip in the already low world oil price – driven by oversupply and concerns about the global economic outlook – is putting a lot of downward pressure on wholesale prices, and we believe retailers should now act by passing on the savings they are making to the UK’s motorists.

“With millions of families currently away on holiday or soon to leave, combined with a boom in staycations this year, a cut now would be widely welcomed and would give motorists confidence that retailers are not keeping prices artificially high.”

Fuel prices have continued to rise since last winter when average unleaded prices hit a low of 101.27p per litre.

The RAC tracks oil and fuel prices as part of its RAC Fuel Watch campaign. Motorists can keep abreast of the latest by visiting rac.co.uk/fuelwatch or following #racfuelwatch on Twitter.

Notes to Editors

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About the RAC

With more than eight million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level, including advancing levels of road safety, supporting the needs of young drivers and voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring. The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. This is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.

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