UK service station owners are contributing to rising consumer inflation by charging many diesel-dependent businesses more than is necessary at the pumps, campaigners say.
The pump price for diesel is about 10% higher than for gasoline, although the wholesale market price is lower, reigniting concerns that service station owners are speculating at the expense of drivers diesel.
The RAC estimates that, on average, gas station owners make double the profits from diesel users, which are often vans and trucks serving retail businesses, compared to the margins from gasoline sales.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Diesel drivers could be forgiven for thinking they are being taken advantage of. The wholesale price of fuel is now below that of petrol, but it is still 15p a liter or so at the pumps, much more than the historical gap of between 5p and 10p.”
The average price at the diesel pump is 160.7 per liter, compared to 146.91 per liter for gasoline, according to data from the RAC. The higher price of the pump has inflated profits made by retailers to 22.36pa liter of diesel. This compares to a markup of around 9.16 pa liter for gasoline.
Added Gooding: “Diesel has generally been seen as a commercial fuel, with carriers and companies seen as less sensitive than private motorists to price movements and given the option to pass on at least part of the price they pay to their customers. . However, that simply means that the cost of living for all of us, drivers or not, goes up.”
Lobbying group FairFuelUK has estimated that diesel drivers have paid on average £19.85 per liter more than petrol users since the start of the year, while wholesale market prices for the first fuel have averaged just £2, 4 pa liter higher during the same period.
The group, which campaigns to cut VAT and fuel tariffs, calculated that the “rip-off” prices meant diesel users may have paid an extra £1.3bn at the pumps since the start of the year, which could be contributing to inflated costs. throughout the economy.
A government spokesman said: “We urge all retailers to ensure fuel savings are passed on to drivers and will act if necessary to ensure consumers get a fair deal for their fuel.”
The Petroleum Retailers Association declined a request for comment.