Asda has cut petrol prices for both petrol and diesel in all of its 203 stores across the UK from today.
This means other supermarkets who manage petrol stations, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s are likely to follow suit. Morrison’s has already announced that it will cut its petrol prices by up to 3p a litre.
This means that petrol prices at Asda have fallen to 135.7p a litre and diesel now costs 139.7p a litre across all of Asda’s UK stores.
The other supermarkets set prices based on local competition so prices will vary.
The price cuts will be welcomed by motorists in the UK who are paying close to record high prices for fuel.
Andy Peake, Asda’s petrol trading director, said: “We always aim to be the first retailer in each part of the country to drop prices when costs are falling and the last to put them up.”
In April petrol reached a record high of an average of 142.5p a litre and diesel also reached a record level of 149p a litre. Prices fell back in the weeks afterwards but have subsequently risen over the last six weeks to get close to the highs seen in the spring.
According to the AA it cost £2 more to fill up a family car yesterday than it did one month ago. Its latest Fuel Price Report says petrol prices have increased by an average of 4.69p, and diesel by 4.15p a litre since August.
Some supermarkets that set prices based on local competition, have been criticised for not passing on the cuts in wholesale fuel costs to motorists.
In many locations, the supermarkets set the price of petrol just a bit lower than the best alternative but not as low as they could.
And motoring organisations such as the AA and RAC believe that the whole industry shares the blame and that it is time that the UKs long-suffering drivers were given a consistently better deal.
The RAC’s David Bizley said: “We are relieved to see a major retailer finally reducing prices in response to the oil price reduction.
“We hope others will do the right thing and follow suit.
“Normally, retailers are quick to raise prices when the cost of oil goes up and slow to bring them down when it drops.
“Perhaps the Office of Fair Trading’s fuel review announcement is already affecting the market.”
Earlier this month the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) announced that it would set up a competition inquiry into petrol and diesel prices.
The OFT will investigate whether competition is being curtailed in the UK market and whether wholesale drops in the price of crude oil are being passed onto customers.
The cost of Brent crude oil in London has fallen by six per cent in the last ten days to about $110 a barrel.
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