Helena Lyng Blak
5 weeks ago

Are Fuel Retailers Exploiting the UK General Election to Keep Prices High?

Accusations arise that fuel retailers may be using the upcoming UK general election as an excuse to maintain high prices.
Photo by minervastock
Photo by minervastock

The United Kingdom general election, scheduled for July 4, 2024, is diverting attentoion off of unfair diesel and gasoline prices. 

That is the accusation from the UK automotive services company, the RAC. 

In May of this year, the RAC revealed that the UK had the “dubious honor” of having the most expensive diesel in Europe, surpassing countries like Belgium, Ireland, and Denmark. 

“This is explained by RAC Fuel Watch calculations which show the average retailer margin on diesel – that’s the difference between the delivered wholesale price and the retail price before VAT – is 18p [18 pence is approximately 25 US cents]. That’s a shocking 10p more than the long-term average of 8p,” said RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams at the time.

Since then, gasoline and diesel prices have both remained high across the UK, with the exception of Northern Ireland, where prices have been more reflective of wholesale costs.

Now, on June 17, 2024, the RAC is stating that it believes that the prices are, in fact, “far higher than they should be.”

The RAC explains that wholesale costs have been dropping since April, yet average prices for consumers have not seen a corresponding decline. 

They claim that the “distraction of the General Election means there’s little political focus on their unreasonably high margins.”

“Our data clearly shows that pump prices haven’t fallen in line with the reduction in wholesale prices, so drivers across the UK–with the exception of those in Northern Ireland where fairer prices are charged–are once again losing several pounds every time they fill up,” says Williams.

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