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Diesel price differential nears record high
The pump price differential between diesel and petrol is approaching near record levels, according to an AA report.
Diesel is now close to 5p per litre more expensive than petrol – the widening disparity in prices coming from soaring diesel prices, rather than a reduction in the cost of a litre of gasoline.
Average petrol prices now stand at 140.2p per litre in the UK according to the AA’s data, with diesel costing 4.4p per litre more at 144.6p. This is despite wholesale prices for the two fuels coming close to parity – sparking claims that drivers of diesel vehicles are being “ripped off”.
Over the past two months alone the cost of filling up an average 50-litre fuel tank with diesel has risen by close to £2.
According to the SMMT, registrations for diesel and petrol cars last month were almost equal, with each fuel accounting for 49.5% and 49.4% of new car registrations in August 2012 respectively.
With diesel cars generally more expensive to buy and now – up to a ‘break even’ point in terms of annual mileage – more expensive to run than a petrol-fuelled vehicle, the benefit of an oil-burning motor is being brought into question.
According to the AA, large oil companies and energy trading firms are ‘profiteering’ by charging 4.4p a litre more for diesel at the pumps:
“Millions of drivers are paying 4.4p per litre more for their diesel than they should be and are ripped off because of a lack of transparency.”
Today’s AA fuel report highlights, “an analysis of wholesale price data from the EU shows that, at least three time this year, jumps in the value of petrol costs across North West Europe have raised it to the same level of diesel.
“For almost four weeks this spring, diesel was the same wholesale price if not cheaper than petrol in the UK.”
So if petrol wholesale prices are rising, yet the cost of diesel at the same point in the supply chain is either the same – or even cheaper – why are drivers being squeezed for every last drip at the pumps?
Even though the overall trend in rising diesel costs at the pumps has caused the disparity, wholesale prices for both fuels have recently telescoped together. However, a percentage difference of 3% per litre more over petrol pump prices is an unfair increase and an unjust tax on diesel motorists.
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