Warning to drivers filling up at supermarkets in May | Personal Finance | Finance

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Drivers filling up their cars with diesel and petrol this week are being warned that the price of both is significantly increasing. 

Motorists using petrol stations at major supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are being warned the price of filling up has jumped by an average of £5.50 in 2024, with April bringing another 3p hike in petrol and a 2p increase in diesel prices on average.

And motorists have been told that they could be paying over the odds too, with the latest RAC data showing a gap of as much as 36p per litre difference between the cheapest and most expensive forecourts operated by supermarket giant Asda.

Breakdown experts at the RAC called the phenomenon a ‘postcode lottery’ where the same fuel by the same retailer could be 36p more expensive at a different filling station.

For petrol, Asda had the widest fuel price disparity, with a difference of 36.2p between its cheapest fuel and its priciest, and an average price of 147.9p per litre.

Morrisons customers pay an average of 147.3p per litre, with a 12p gap between the highest and lowest.

Sainsbury’s charges 146.6p per litre average with a price range of 14p while Tesco had the lowest average price, 146.5p and the lowest range, with 10p the gap between highest and lowest. 

For diesel, the results were largely similar, with Tesco again the cheapest average price at 154.4p and Asda the priciest at 147.9p.

The RAC is now issuing a call to the government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to look at retailer fuel margins.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers are once again having to dig deep just to go about their daily lives. Our data shows petrol and diesel have now gone up 10p a litre so far this year on the back of further increases in April of 3p and 2p respectively.  

“Some of this is down to the oil price and the pound-to-dollar exchange rate making wholesale petrol more expensive for retailers to buy but unfortunately, it’s also very apparent that retailers are making massive margins on diesel. To put this into perspective, the wholesale price of diesel has been lower than petrol since the middle of April, yet diesel is nearly 8p a litre dearer at the pump. If retailers were treating drivers fairly this gap would be starting to close, instead of getting wider.”


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