Millions of drivers being ‘ripped off’ as fuel prices rise despite oil falling

Millions of drivers in the country could be getting "ripped off" by fuel prices, a study has found.

According to analysis by AA, the failure to record a small decrease in charges means drivers are hit with heavier costs.

Between mid-March and April, petrol and diesel costs went up by around 1p a litre.

But charges have now settled at around 126.4p per litre and 129.9p per litre over the past fortnight.

The prices ends a steady climb for fuel costs with prices surging between December and April.

However, oil prices started to sell off from around $64 per barrel in mid-March to around $62 in recent years.

But the reduction has only been enough to bring the wholesale costs to retailers down by a penny.

The AA claimed there has been "no rush" to pass anything onto customers to ensure prices started to drop.

Meanwhile, the motoring firm warned drivers forecourt prices have "not budged an inch".

A spokesman said: "Most drivers compare changes in the value of oil with price changes at the pump to decide whether the fuel trade is treating them fairly."

He added: "At present, they see a significant fall in the cost of oil but forecourt prices not budging an inch.

"Although much of that petrol price inertia can be explained by a stronger commodity fuel market, as usually happens heading into the US summer motoring season, the 3p a litre diesel price rip-off cannot.

"A collapse in fuel demand during the first lockdown gave the fuel trade its excuse for keeping prices artificially high, apparently to compensate for the lower sales.

"However, as Londoners are discovering, that price behaviour doesn't work the other way."

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Fuel demand in London has started to increase as coronavirus restrictions began to ease across England.

Statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found London's fuel demand was now 83% of pre-pandemic labels.

These findings are higher than the UK average of 77p per litre and even more than during the lockdowns.

Prices are still higher in the capital than anywhere else in the UK with petrol drivers splashing up to 128p per litre to fill up.

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