Supermarket giants Asda and Morrison have announced that from today (Friday) the price of a litre of unleaded petrol will fall below £1 for the first time in six years.
However the Fair Fuel UK campaign has insisted that independent fuel retailers were still profiteering from artificially high petrol prices.
The Asda price drop was, initially, set to run until Monday, December 14.
Morrison’s, however, would only say that it would hold the sub-£1 price ‘‘for as long as possible’’ dependent on wholesale prices.
Andy Peake, Asda’s senior petrol director, said, “For the second time this week we’re giving drivers a festive fuel boost and investing in a further price drop.
‘‘We’re adding a further boost by investing in a three day fuel price drop meaning drivers can now benefit from fuel as low as 99.7ppl in the crucial run-up to the festive period”.
“We know our competitors are likely to follow but Asda don’t have a postcode lottery on fuel meaning no matter where customers live, they will benefit from the same fuel price at every single one of our filling stations with our national price cap of 99.7ppl for unleaded and 101.7ppl for diesel”.
Bryan Burger, Morrisons petrol retail director, said: “Today, for the first time in more than six years, we are moving unleaded prices down to below £1 a litre.
“This is a moment where motorists will feel some relief after being clobbered by tax and price rises for the last decade.
“From the petrol price peak four years ago, the average car driver will have saved £17 a week which they can now spend on more enjoyable things than filling up their car.”
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, said: ‘It’s already grossly wrong that UK drivers are punished with the highest fuel tax in Europe, but they are even more angered by the fact that independent garages are not passing on the latest falls in wholesale levels to the pumps in the right amounts.
“And even more galling to our 1.2 million supporters, diesel continues to be higher priced than petrol when its wholesale cost is less.
“This is nothing but pure greed through consumer exploitation.
“The Competitions and Market Authority should investigate immediately.”
Asda’s announcement today is a another additional weekend boost for customers in the run-up to the festive season, meaning there’s more left over to spend on the things that matter at this time of year.
Effective from Friday 11th December until Sunday 13th December, motorists will benefit from cheaper fuel prices throughout the weekend as unleaded falls back to record six year lows. Asda will revert back on Monday to a market leading price of 101.7ppl on unleaded and 104.7 ppl on diesel.
Asda is the only retailer that has a national price cap on fuel at all 277 filling stations, ensuring every single one of our customers knows the maximum price they will pay at the pump regardless of where they live.
From this morning (Friday, December 11) motorists filling up with unleaded at a Morrisons petrol station will pay no more than 99.9p per litre.
This is the first time any retailer has brought its everyday price down to below the £1 mark since June 2009.
Earlier this week the RAC, predicted that prices would move below £1-a-litre before the Christmas getaway.
With the oil price tumbling, Morrisons is making the cut a fortnight earlier than expected.
RAC Fuel Watch spokesman Simon Williams said: “This is just the news motorists were expecting to hear after we reported this week that wholesale fuel prices were coming down again as the price of a barrel of oil fell below $40. Morrisons has delivered this festive saving at their pumps even sooner than we thought and no doubt their forecourts are now going to be very busy with motorists filling up with petrol at an everyday price of under £1 a litre.”
Morrisons is also cutting 1p off a litre of its diesel from tomorrow morning.
Morrisons will hold the price at this new everyday price for as long as possible but it remains subject to changes in oil markets and foreign exchange movements.
We are entering a period of supermarket pump pricing war that will be eagerly welcomed by 37m UK drivers. In fact, if it were not for these big 4 fuel retailers, prices on the smaller independent forecourts would probably be even higher than they are now.
At the FairFuelUK APPG pump pricing inquiry held this week in Westminster, the Petrol Retailers Association admitted to MPs that supermarkets are definitely driving down pump prices and so their 6000 members have no choice to reluctantly follow.
But with wholesale diesel at lows of 96p and petrol 97p there is absolutely no excuse for seeing the current pump prices across the UK average at the significant high levels of 109.4p (diesel) and 106.9p (petrol). They should be substantially lower and are definitely being artificially inflated for maximum profit.
Quentin Willson, Lead Campaigner for FairFuelUK said: ‘It seems the Independents are deliberately stopping fuel prices drop in line with the current wholesale prices for as long as they can get away with it. By keeping pump prices at exceptionally high levels for opportunistic profit, it is they who are stopping consumers fill their tanks at fairer market prices.’