Petrol price 'may go up 4p' as retailers urge review

petrol pump Motorists could be paying more for their petrol within days, the PRA has warned

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Fuel campaigners are warning petrol prices might jump 4p per litre "in coming days".

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said a "full review" of the wholesale fuel market was needed.

The AA said a review would help to tackle the "fuel industry's treatment of drivers, consumers and businesses".

Next week the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is due to report on whether reductions in the price of crude oil are being passed on to drivers.

The OFT is set to announce whether a full investigation of fuel prices is needed.

'Help consumers'

The PRA said "despite recent arctic weather cutting fuel demand across northern Europe and refinery chiefs complaining at their glut of petrol capacity", wholesale costs had risen by 5p per litre in the four weeks since Christmas.

Average prices at the pumps had gone up by around 1p - according to Experian Catalist figures - so drivers now faced another 4p per litre rise, it said.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: "The shock rise in wholesale costs is just one of the reasons why the Petrol Retailers' Association has been knocking on the door of the Office for Fair Trading, since this time last year, to demand a full investigation into the workings of the UK market for road fuel".

He said retailers across the country - who had already "been soaking up this increase" for motorists - would be forced to put their prices up over the coming days and weeks, with some already doing so.

Mr Madderson said: "Once again we are going to be accused of profiteering at the pumps when that is simply not true."

He urged the OFT "to step out from the shadows and help consumers by conducting a full market study that will lift the veil of secrecy from the wholesale cost movements".

Start Quote

Another new year, another new round of pump price rises after the industry failed to pass on fully wholesale price savings. ”

End Quote Edmund King AA

He also called on Chancellor George Osborne to abandon plans for a fuel duty rise in September 2013, "if fuel costs continue to rise".

Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said: "It's our cars' dependency on increasingly expensive oil that should be reviewed.

"Motorists will continue to pay a high price until the government and motor industry take decisive action to speed up the production of electric vehicles and cleaner cars that burn less fuel.

"Ministers must also do more to provide decent alternatives to driving, such as better public transport and safer cycling."


Motoring journalist Quentin Wilson said: "A 4p rise is going to be cataclysmic for motorists, for families, for businesses across the UK.

Mr Wilson, who is also a campaigner for Fair Fuel UK, said: "In some parts of the country we are seeing diesel as high as 148p so this will tip it over the psychological threshold of 150p...and it's unsupportable."

The AA said drivers were again picking up rising petrol bills, with retailers often reluctant to pass on savings when the cost of petrol is falling.

AA president Edmund King said: "Another new year, another new round of pump price rises after the industry failed to pass on fully wholesale price savings.

"The Office of Fair Trading decides soon whether to launch an investigation into fuel prices, hopefully tackling the fuel industry's treatment of drivers, consumers and businesses."

He added: "The insight we are now getting on wholesale price movements rams home the need for this information to be out in the public domain immediately.

"Wholesale petrol prices turned upward in the first week of January, average pump prices six days later. If falls in wholesale were reflected as quickly, no-one would mind - but they're not."

The chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, Geoff Dunning, said increases in the cost of fuel affect the economy in two ways: "One is, obviously, for the person in the street when they're buying fuel, they spend more on fuel and therefore can spend less on other things - on food, on clothes, on anything else - and the other effect is that the price of fuel affects the price of goods in the shop, because everything that's delivered to the shop comes in a truck."


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  • Comment number 65.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Considering what's involved in getting the oily black stuff out of the ground (after first finding it), then refining it into something useable, transporting it 1/2 way around the world and then into your tank then it's incredibly cheap. And I'm saying that as a petrol-head.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    Just as well we have such a well-priced, extensive and efficient public transport system then.

    Ah... never mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    As usual, the increase in wholesale petrol prices is passed on to the consumer. For about 25 years now I've had only 1 question : When will the periodic DECREASES in wholesale petrol prices be passed on to the consumer ???? Petrol company profits amount to BILLIONS year-on-year because of exactly this kind of ripping-off of the consumers ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    It's a shame there isn't a way to link price charged for petrol, to the size of engine. It works well with road tax, so could it be done with petrol eg if you have 3 litre car or above you pay 1.75 litre, under 2 litres is 1.40.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Oh, and people are massively overestimating the role of speculators.
    The people who actually bet on commodities make money if the price goes up, as well as down. After all it was these same speculators that drove the price of oil down 75% in 2008.

    The current price rises are due to the BoE's printing presses. They have increased base money by over £300 billion. £300,000,000,000!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    We all know what's going on , its just blatant profiteering .
    The oil company's blame the government ,
    and the government blame the oil company's .

    All that happens is we the public suffer ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    Fuel prices - quick to rise but very slow to fall. With this latest hike just watch the price of everything else rise because it is all linked to the price of fuel. Also, watch retailers take a further hit because people have even less money to spend. That will make the economy take a hit and then every one suffers. Why do governments allow oil companies to hold countries to ransom like this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    More energy sources needed. Frack baby frack.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Potential to be another nail into the coffin of UK plc.? This needs to be going down and sooner rather than later I fear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Money is money and business is business, natural competition should be the only thing allowed to influence prices on anything.

    Less fiddling by the government would be good for every one.


    SIMPLE; if you cant afford to buy fuel at its price set by suppliers, either use different transport or buy a house nearer to your destination.
    Sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort for reality!

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    9. BP4ever
    Not true.
    While you were reading and typing other people were rating the post. When you posted the page your screen updated and what you see is the result of all those posts. So if you voted it down by one and two other people voted it up while you were typing the result is +1.
    The BBC needs a better system which shows the positive and negative votes separately to avoid confusion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    I dont like this any more than most people bit there are some very unrealistic and uninformed comments on this forum. Firstly is that only the government make a substantial amount form fuel. BPs profits were £11Bn the year after the gulf spillage. Secondly, the government should abolish fuel duty - OK, but replace it with what? A different tax or more spending cuts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    £1.50p/L is so much cheaper than coffe/tea in a cafe. Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    As soon as the Government had taken away the fuel duty rise it let a gap
    open for the fuel companies to put up a prices and take it as a profit

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    If, as the PRA say, it is not the PRA the priority should be to publicly identify those who are profiteering. My guess, like the bankers, people with money and influence manipulating markets to get them even more money and influence at the expense of the country and the normal worker. Action is needed NOW to prevent another dive into recession and a greater public backlash against the Gov.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    @BP4ever the voting works fine, the page doesn't update while you are just reading it, the numbers only update if you reload the page (they all update) or if you rate one comment then the number for that comment updates and doesn't just show your vote but any others that came in while you were reading so while you were reading and voting negative two others voted positive so the score went up by 1

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Any excuse will do to shove more onto the already hard pressed motorist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    This will go down well in rural areas....

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    In the USA prices go up when oil goes up and come down when oil comes down. In the UK it only goes up. The link between commodity price and pump price is broken by the massive government charge (taxes and duty). We hear so much about being low taxation conservatives but all UK governments jack up the fuels taxes. The real solution is to abolish fuel duty in the UK.


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