Drivers paid an extra 6p a litre for fuel after supermarkets kept prices high, damning report finds

3 July 2023, 16:42

Supermarkets slammed for petrol prices
Supermarkets slammed for petrol prices. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Supermarkets were accused of profiteering at the expense of motorists last year in a damning report that says they made an extra 6p profit by keeping prices high.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recommended that the Government introduce legislation to create a 'pump watch' scheme to show local prices on sat navs and phone apps.

This would help drivers shop around more easily for the best prices locally and drive down prices overall.

The CMA found that the average supermarket fuel margins rose by 6p per litre between 2019 and 2022. An increase in margins on diesel across all fuel retailers cost drivers an extra 13p per litre during the first five months of this year alone.

Asda has also been fined £60,000 by the CMA for failing to provide relevant information in a timely manner, the regulator revealed.

It determined that competition has "weakened" as Asda and Morrisons decided to increase the amount of money it makes on fuel and Sainsbury's and Tesco have priced by comparison to local competitors rather than responding to cost movements in the market.

There was no evidence to suggest that there has been "cartel behaviour"and there are no plans to open an enforcement case against supermarkets, the regulator said.

Motorists have been paying 6p a litre more due to supermarkets keeping prices artificially high
Motorists have been paying 6p a litre more due to supermarkets keeping prices artificially high. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Speak to your lender: Minister’s message to Brits struggling with mortgages as he says inflation will come down

Read More: Fury as Jeremy Clarkson's 'overpriced' Diddly Squat farm shop attracts petrolheads to quiet village

CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said: "Competition at the pump is not working as well as it should be and something needs to change swiftly to address this.

"Drivers buying fuel at supermarkets in 2022 have paid around 6p per litre more than they would have done otherwise due to the four major supermarkets increasing their margins.

"This will have had a greater impact on vulnerable people, particularly those in areas with less choice of fuel stations.'We need to reignite competition among fuel retailers."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "It is absolutely not right that drivers aren't getting the right fair deal for fuel and have in some circumstances been overcharged by retailers."

An Asda spokesperson said: "Despite record inflation, we have carefully managed our business to ensure Asda was the cheapest traditional supermarket for both groceries and fuel throughout the period reviewed by the CMA and this position is unchanged.

"The penalty notices relate to two individual alleged technical breaches in the way information was shared with the CMA over a 12-month period, during which time a significant number of documents were shared with the CMA to aid their study and we engaged fulsomely with their enquiries."

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps have previously been said to favour something like a scheme that already runs in Northern Ireland which has been credited with reducing the average  price of filling up. 

According to the RAC the average cost of filling up with petrol in the UK is 143.86p per litre, and diesel 145.54p.That is down from a peak of 191.43p for petrol and 199.07p for diesel in July last year as the war in Ukraine and other factors causes a surge in prices.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Rene Graham was killed on Sunday July 21

Teen victim of west London park shooting named and pictured for the first time

Kamala Harris has praised Joe Biden

Kamala Harris pays tribute to 'unmatched' legacy of Joe Biden in first speech since he pulled out of election

Police said they attended the residence at Wexford Road, Coventry at around 12.15pm on Monday following an emergency 999 call

Woman in her 30s killed after being mauled by pet dog at home in Coventry

Secret Service boss Kimberly Cheatle denied claims she failed to provide Trump with adequate protection.

'We failed': Secret service boss brands Donald Trump shooting 'most significant failure in decades'

One of Britain's oldest cricket clubs bans players from hitting sixes after neighbours complain of damaged property

One of Britain's oldest cricket clubs bans players from hitting sixes after neighbours complain of damaged property

Anand Runwal jumped in front of the train to try to save his children

Pictured: Hero father who jumped in front of train to try to save his twin daughters, whose pushchair rolled onto tracks

The moment a sexual predator lured a 14-year-old schoolgirl to a guesthouse where he later raped her has been caught on camera.

Chilling footage captures sex predator luring schoolgirl, 14, to guesthouse before raping her after plying teen with alcohol

Migrants heading to Britain. Home Secretary Yvette cooper today revealed the scheme cost £700m and saw only four volunteers sent to Africa

Rwanda deportation scheme cost £700m and saw just four volunteers sent to Africa, Home Secretary reveals

Piccadilly line to partially close for 16 days in August causing major disruption for commuters and Arsenal fans

Piccadilly line to partially close for 16 days in August causing major disruption for commuters and Arsenal fans

Strictly pro dancer Janette Manrara breaks her silence following claims by former contestant Will Bayley

Strictly dancer Janette Manrara breaks silence following contestant's 'life-changing' injury claims

President of Croatia Zoran Milanović described the attack as a "savage unprecedented crime".

Several killed as gunman opens fire in Croatian care home

A boy was pronounced dead at the scene in Ladbroke Grove

Gunman 'jumped from bushes to assassinate 15-year-old boy' on 'family fun day' at west London park

Search for murdered Muriel McKay's remains called off by police after 'unsuccessful' farm dig

Search for murdered Muriel McKay's remains called off by police after 'unsuccessful' farm dig

Nuclear submariner Marcus Gauntlett is under investigation

Royal Navy sailor accused of stealing secrets from nuclear submarine after 'documents found on phone'

Alex Dancyg and Yagev Buchshtab died while being held in Gaza.

Israel confirms deaths of two hostages in Gaza ahead of ceasefire talks

BRITAIN-AVIATION-AIRSHOW

Labour could scrap two child benefit cap, Keir Starmer suggests ahead of backbench rebellion