Motoring organisation the RAC is calling on fuel retailers to reduce the price of diesel at the pumps as the wholesale cost is now almost the same as petrol – yet average forecourt prices are still 6p a litre more expensive.
As Trucking went to press, the wholesale price of unleaded was 103.5p a litre, while diesel was only half a pence more expensive at 104p a litre. Despite the closing of the gap between the two fuels’ wholesale prices, the average retail price of diesel was 136.26p – 6p dearer than petrol at 130.22p.
Compared with a year ago, however, when the gap between the wholesale prices was 2p a litre, diesel was only around 4.5p more expensive than petrol at the pumps – which the RAC said poses a question for truck operators around how the retail price of diesel can be so much higher today when the wholesale prices of both petrol and diesel are so similar.
The RAC has urged the fuel industry to explain why the retail price of diesel is so much greater than the wholesale price, especially when the gap between wholesale prices has been around the 2p mark since early April, giving plenty of time for the saving to be passed on to truck operators.
“Transparent, fair fuel pricing is vital for the economy,” said RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams. “While two thirds of Britain’s 29m cars run on petrol, we use twice as much diesel, around 26bn litres a year, which demonstrates how important it is to business through our 460,000 HGVs, 3.2m vans and all the diesel-powered company cars on the road which cover high mileages every year.
“In the last year, retailers have been noticeably quicker to pass on reductions in the wholesale price to forecourts,” he added. “But we are now seeing an unfortunate blip in that trend where diesel prices are higher than they really need to be. There has been talk of the fuel retailers using higher diesel prices to keep petrol prices lower, but whether or not that’s the case, the simplest way to operate must be to make sure retail prices always reflect wholesale prices proportionately. This has to be fairer in the