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Fuel prices should be lower say RAC

FUEL retailers are taking advantage of the General Election to keep their margins “persistently high,” a motoring group has claimed.

The RAC stated that petrol and diesel prices in Britain are “far higher than they should be” despite a drop in wholesale costs since the end of April. The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts is 146.3p, which is “5p more expensive than it should be,” given that Northern Ireland is charging 141.1p for the same product, according to the organisation.

Additionally, the UK has had Europe’s most expensive diesel for the past seven weeks, with a litre costing an average of 151.5p. In Northern Ireland, the price is nearly 10p lower at 141.9p.

RAC figures indicate that retailers’ margins—the difference between what they paid for fuel and the pump price—are 14p per litre for petrol and 16p per litre for diesel. The long-term average for both fuels is 8p per litre.

Simon Williams, head of policy at the RAC, said: “Margins are once again staying persistently high, and drivers are paying the price. Our data clearly shows that pump prices haven’t fallen in line with the reduction in wholesale prices, so drivers across the UK—except for those in Northern Ireland where fairer prices are charged—are once again losing several pounds every time they fill up. We believe there’s no good reason for retailers in Great Britain not to cut their prices at the pumps further. We can only think they’re hoping no one will notice due to the distraction of the General Election. We hope that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is aware of what is going on and will use this to bring retailers into line as soon as it’s able to.”

Pump prices are generally lower in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK, partly due to competition from forecourts in the Republic of Ireland. Independent fuel retailers in the UK have argued they are facing cost increases from various factors such as business rates, energy bills, and wages.

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