RAC calls for equitable petrol and diesel pricing

Fuel retailers are making a profit of 7.5p a litre on diesel compared to just 3p a litre on petrol

There is a just a penny between the wholesale price of diesel and petrol. But at the pumps, motorists running on diesel are being forced to pay extra to fill up their tanks.

Last Friday, for instance, the wholesale price of unleaded petrol stood at 103.5p a litre, while diesel was only slightly more expensive at 104p a litre. Yet motorists were charged a massive 6p extra.

Now the RAC is demanding that fuel retailers cut the extra charges or justify them.

The motoring organisation says retailers usually make around 4p per litre profit on both fuels. However they're now making a profit of 7.5p a litre on diesel compared to just 3p a litre on petrol, the RAC says. This works out as an extra £1.92 on the average 55 litre tank of diesel.

Businesses are being worst hit because, although two-thirds of Britain's 29 million cars run on petrol, vans and company cars use diesel to cover high mileages.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "In the last year retailers have been noticeably quicker to pass on reductions in the wholesale price to forecourts, 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 long run for both private motorists and businesses alike."

Despite the gap, unleaded is now 4p a litre cheaper than it was a year ago, as retailers passed on savings in the wholesale price, which eased in mid-January to around 106p – a result of the pound's strong performance against the dollar.

Looking ahead, the wholesale price of diesel is likely to remain low in coming weeks due to the start of the American holiday season. The US has far more petrol vehicles than diesel and petrol production will be boosted to meet demand – causing a slight increase in petrol retail prices, which in turn narrows the gap with diesel pump prices.

Mr Williams said: "As we regularly see prices go up as a result of global demand issues it seems only fair that this annual drop in worldwide wholesale diesel prices caused by this little-known US petrol peak phenomenon should be reflected on UK forecourts.

"Over the years we have been encouraged to choose diesel vehicles for environmental and fuel economy reasons, which means they are the preferred option for many.

"Unfortunately, UK motorists now pay far more relatively for diesel than petrol because UK refineries are not geared up to meet demand and we have to import supplies from Russia and other countries.

"In the interests of fair play it would appear a good moment for our driver-friendly supermarket fuel stations or the big fuel companies to take a stand and cut the price of diesel, in line with wholesale prices, and give diesel car owners and business drivers a welcome respite."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) - Hertfordshire/Middlesex

£300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style