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Campaigners call for petrol review as 4p price rises are predicted

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Fuel campaigners are calling for a full investigation by the OFT into petrol prices.


The price of petrol may be about to shoot up by 4p per litre, the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has warned.

This is because in the four weeks since Christmas, wholesale petrol prices have increased by 5p per litre. This is despite a month of arctic weather which has cut fuel demand across northern Europe and refinery chiefs complaining about a ”glut of petrol capacity”.

The group is calling for a full investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into petrol prices as it says there needs to be greater transparency when it comes to wholesale price rises.

OFT review

Brian Madderson, chairman for the PRA, says petrol retailers are forced to put prices up, because of rising wholesale costs, when there is often little explanation from wholesale providers as to why prices are rising when demand for petrol is falling.

The AA is also urging the OFT to conduct a full review into this industry. Its president, Edmund King, says the upcoming pump price rise is due to the industry failing to pass on wholesale price savings.

Wholesale petrol prices increased in the first week of January, and were followed six days later by average pump prices of around 1p per litre. But King argues that falls in wholesale prices are never reflected in forecourt prices as quickly.

The OFT will announce this week if it'll go ahead with the review or not.

Price variations across the country

The price of petrol still varies across the country, with those in Newbury for example paying 5p more a litre for petrol at the supermarket than neighbouring town Reading.

In January, Yorkshire and Humberside remained the cheapest areas in the UK for petrol, with an average of 132.1p per litre at the pump while Northern Ireland was the most expensive at 139.7p.

How to save money on petrol

Although there is little we can do about rising wholesale prices, you can save money on petrol by making a few changes.

Websites such as petrolprices.com will show you the cheapest filling stations in your area. Getting rid of extra weight from your car, such as roof racks or unnecessary luggage will also cut costs as a 100kg load can reduce mileage by around 5 miles per gallon.

Our article on how to find the cheapest diesel and petrol prices is stacked full of more helpful tips to save you money on your vehicle.

More on petrol:

Up to two million drivers face £1,000 fine

The most popular car of 2012

Five ways to make money from your car

How-to Guides » Beat the petrol price hikes

25 ways to cut your car insurance

Car insurers are cheating older drivers

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