Supermarkets accused of stabbing drivers with above-average fuel price increases in December
- The wholesale price of gasoline and diesel rose 1p per liter in December
- However, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco raised fuel prices by an average of 3 pence per liter
- Only Asda matched the rise in wholesale and was by far the cheapest to fill up
- According to the RAC, retailers have raised prices to protect themselves from an expected third lockdown in the new year
Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s were accused of raising fuel prices well above their costs during the holiday season.
The RAC said the monthly wholesale gasoline and diesel increase in December was only 1p per liter, but the three supermarket retailers had increased their pump prices by an average of 3p per liter over the same period.
Only Asda saw the wholesale increase of 1p per liter in December. The RAC said the actions taken by the other major retailers were “very disappointing” and suggested they would have protected themselves in case of a new lockdown in the New Year.
Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s were accused of increasing their gasoline and diesel prices in December to protect themselves from a lockdown in fuel demand
Tesco hiked its prices the most in the final month of 2020, adding 3.91 pence unleaded and diesel 2.61 pence.
Morrisons was just behind with 3.75 pence and 3.49 pence-per-liter hikes for the respective fuels, while Sainsbury’s charged an additional 2.24p and 2.23p for drivers who refuel in the forecourt.
The increase by the three supermarkets increased the average gasoline price in December by 2p per liter, from 114.4p to 116.4p, while the price of diesel rose from 117.7p to 120p.
|Asda lead free||Asda Diesel||Morrisons lead free||Morrisons Diesel||Sainsburys lead free||Sainsburys Diesel||Tesco lead free||Tesco Diesel|
Since Asda increased its pump loads only slightly, it was significantly cheaper than the competition last month.
According to the latest report from RAC Fuel Watch, it was sold unleaded for 110.1p per liter and charged at 113.4p per liter for diesel.
Although most large grocers pushed their fuel prices higher than the wholesale hikes, it was still cheaper to refuel in a supermarket than in the forecourt outside a supermarket – 4p cheaper for gasoline and 4.5p less for diesel.
“Looking at wholesale prices two weeks ago – the time it takes all retailers to replenish their inventory – the RAC believes drivers should actually be paying around 113p for gasoline and 118p for diesel,” the said Automotive organization.
The RAC said the monthly wholesale price increase was only 1p per liter, but the three major supermarkets – excluding Asda – increased their pump prices by an average of 3p per liter over the same period
The increase by the three supermarkets increased the average gasoline price in December by 2p per liter, from 114.4p to 116.4p, while the price of diesel rose from 117.7p to 120p
RAC experts said they had a “strong feeling” that supermarket retailers had raised prices in the prospect of further coronavirus restrictions, which came with the recent national lockdown this week.
|Y’shire & Humber||113.78||116.03||2.25|
|Y’shire & Humber||117.09||119.6||2.51|
“It’s very disappointing,” said fuel spokesman Simon Williams.
‘While wholesale prices rose slightly in December, our data shows that there should be scope to lower prices on the forecourt instead of increasing them.
“Retailers will no doubt argue that the pandemic is causing drivers to refuel far less, dropping their profits per liter significantly. The announcement of another lockdown on Monday is seen as a justification for their decision not to pass on savings on the pumps . ” .
“Unfortunately, those who still have to refuel regularly have to pay more than they should because, according to our calculations, both fuels should actually drop by 3 p per liter in the next fourteen days.”
In December, gasoline and diesel prices rose the most among drivers in the east – by 2.58 pence per liter for unleaded and 2.48 pence for diesel.
The North West saw the lowest average rise in fuel prices, while London and the South East were the most expensive regions last month to be replenished on forecourt.
Although Mr. Williams is hoping for a drop in fuel prices over the next fourteen days, potential cost savings for motorists will come at a time when many people are not using their cars.
And he warned that fuel prices will inevitably rise again when Covid’s third ban is lifted and drivers get back on the road.
“A year ago a liter of unleaded driver reset 127p and diesel 132p, which is 10p and 12p more expensive than it is today,” he said.