DRIVERS have seen the price of petrol fall by 11p a litre recently but some petrol stations could be passing on higher savings, the AA has said.
It claims the fall in price at the pump does not reflect the saving providers are seeing from plummeting worldwide oil prices.
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It has also revealed data showing big differences in the cost of petrol across the country with drivers in some rural areas paying £3.50 less for a tank of petrol.
The average cost of unleaded petrol has fallen from 121.28p a litre in mid March to 110.40p this week, knocking 10.7p off the price.
At some forecourts drivers have even paid below £1 a litre – the lowest prices seen since May 2016.
The average cost for diesel has dropped to 115.64p, from 124.00p, a fall of 8.36p in the same period.
But the AA claims drivers should have seen more significant savings.
It argues that if worldwide oil prices were factored in, drivers at the pump should have seen prices fall by closer to 19p – not the 11p we’ve seen so far.
The price of oil has fallen to between $30 and $25 a barell from above $50.
Part of the reason for this is because there is less demand for oil, as most drivers aren't going out during lockdown.
The AA says the wholesale price of petrol has been at around 16p a litre for the past three weeks, falling from 32p at the start of March.
When adding in 57.95p in fuel duty, a 9p-a-litre retailer margin, and 20 per cent VAT the AA says this would have put the average price at the pump before lockdown at £1 a litre.
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The amount drivers are paying also varies across the country with the cost in some rural parts of the UK averaging £3.50 cheaper per tank than other regions.
In Northern Ireland, for example, the cost of petrol on March 16 was 117.8p and fell to 105.5p on April 13 – a fall of 12.3p.
While drivers in the South East saw prices fall from 122.2p to 112p on the same dates, a fall of 10.3p.
Luke Bosdet, spokesperson for the AA, said: “Those representing the retailers say that pump prices need to stay high in the lockdown to compensate for lower sales volumes and avoid forecourt closures.
“It is likely that once Covid-19 is defeated there will be calls for a review of UK pump prices during the current oil and commodity fuel price crash, as there were in the years after the 2008 to 2012 price spikes.
"One of the questions will be whether it is purely coincidental that Northern Ireland with an effective consumer watchdog has the lowest pump prices in the UK?”
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