Motoring group RAC say UK fuel retailers are engaging in ‘rocket and feather’ pricing, after petrol and diesel both touched record highs over the weekend.
Prices at the pumps jumped sharply (over the last few months as wholesale prices have risen.
But even though the wholesale price of petrol started to fall a couple of weeks ago, motorists haven’t seen the benefits.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We are struggling to see how retailers can justify continuing to put up their unleaded prices as the wholesale cost of petrol has reduced significantly.
This is sadly a classic example of ‘rocket and feather’ pricing in action, and one which the Competition and Markets Authority will no doubt be looking at very closely. It seems as if retailers are making matters worse for themselves by not lowering their forecourt prices despite having a clear opportunity to do so.
Even the price of wholesale diesel, which had been on a rising trajectory due to the move away from Russian imports, has cooled. This could yet prevent its average price from hitting the £2 a litre landmark. But, as always, that will depend on how fairly retailers reflect the reduction in its wholesale price on their totems.
“The only explanation of retailers’ resistance to reducing prices is that they’re protecting profits in case of wholesale costs suddenly going back up. Ultimately, the longer they hold out, the more they benefit and the longer the misery continues for drivers struggling with the high prices.”