An increase in the cost of petrol at the pumps has been called ‘completely unjustified’ following a declining wholesale price.
The RAC Fuel Watch said the wholesale cost of petrol fell 10p in November to its lowest level since September, but the price on forecourts continued to rise, hitting record levels of 147.72p per litre.
The average cost of a litre of petrol was up 3.1p per litre at the end of November (147.28p), with a similar story for diesel, up 2.7p to 150.64p, which hit a record high of 151.1p despite wholesale cost dipping seven per cent.
The RAC said ‘there is absolutely no justification for the high prices being charged on forecourts’ and that it ‘is pleading with retailers to cut pump prices immediately to fairer levels’.
It believes petrol could fall 12p per litre while diesel could drop seven pence, which could make a huge difference with Christmas just around the corner.
The RAC says that based on this discrepancy, drivers of petrol cars are overpaying by £5.5 million every day.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Sadly, our data shows all too clearly that drivers are being taken for a ride by retailers at the moment.
“We can’t see any justification for the prices that are being charged at the pumps and are concerned that drivers on lower incomes who depend on their vehicles are being priced off the road altogether.
“The wholesale petrol price, which is what retailers pay to buy new supply, dropped by 10p from mid-November, so we can’t see how any increase – let alone a 3p one – was warranted.”
The RAC has urged the Government to intervene, saying that while the fuel duty freeze last month was welcome, ‘simply wasn’t anywhere near enough to ease the burden now being placed on millions of households who have no choice but to use their vehicles’.
The highest prices for both petrol and diesel could be found in the south east, where the cost had hit 148.11p and 151.74p per litre respectively by the end of November.