Britain’s supermarkets have increase their petrol prices almost every single day for the last three months.
Prices at the “big four” chains’ filling stations have not fallen since late February, despite other retailers cutting their charges.
The supermarkets, which sell 45 per cent of all the country’s fuel, have raised the price of unleaded on all but five days since February 21, according to data from RAC Fuel Watch. That has taken the average price per litre from 115.75p to 125.44p.
In the past, the big four – Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons – have regularly led fuel price cuts but over the last three months other retailers cut prices five times.
Despite that, petrol prices have still rise but by 8.61p at non-supermarket forecourts compared to 9.69p at the major chains.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Our data very clearly shows the wholesale price of unleaded has increased dramatically over the last three months which has inevitably led to forecourt prices rising. But it is concerning to see the supermarkets, who many drivers trust to provide them with good value, putting up their prices when other smaller retailers have actually being fairer with their customers by more closely mirroring movements in the wholesale price.
“While three months of almost daily price rises isn’t an accurate reflection of wholesale price movements, the supermarkets appear to be protecting profits by being overly cautious about not getting caught out by the odd day of lower wholesale prices in what they believe is a consistently rising wholesale market.
“And, to make matters worse, this comes on top of the supermarkets – and retailers generally – not passing savings in the wholesale price of diesel back to drivers on the forecourt, perhaps in an effort to subsidise the price of petrol.
“We know oil is in shorter supply globally which is unfortunately pushing up prices for drivers at the pumps in the UK. We can only hope this isn’t going to continue for too much longer, otherwise we will see a return to the five-year high prices of last October when a litre of petrol was nearly 132p and diesel was 137p.”