Sky-high diesel and petrol prices will be scrutinised by consumer
watchdog The Office of Fair Trading. It is launching a six-week
investigation into the price of fuel, promising to publish its findings
in January 2013. Petrol and diesel prices remain high in Britain,
despite well publicised drops in the price of crude oil.
Motorhomes hit hard
motorhomes are powered by diesel, which has seen a price rise of 43 per
cent between June 2007 and June 2012. Petrol has gone up 38 per cent in
the same time-frame. In June, the government said that it would
postpone its 3p-a-litre rise in fuel tax from August until January.
Is the trade fair?
OFT will look at the deals between supermarkets and oil companies to
determine how they affect independent retailers’ ability to compete. It
will also look for any profiteering and price-fixing, shining a
spotlight on giant oil companies, City traders and speculators, as well
as petrol retailers and supermarkets.
Rural areas will be examined, too. Clare Hart, of the OFT said:
are keenly aware of continuing widespread concern about the pump price
of petrol and diesel and we have heard a number of different claims
about how the market is operating. We have therefore decided to take a
broad based look at this sector, to provide an opportunity for people
to share their concerns and evidence with us. This will help us
determine whether claims about competition problems are well-founded
and whether any further action is warranted.”
OFT to ignore fuel duty
organisations are critical of the review, saying that the main problem
facing motorists is the fuel duty on each litre sold. This will not be
covered by the review.
Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC
Foundation, said: “We have always argued for pricing transparency and
this review promises to provide it. … We also welcome scrutiny of what
the rapid decline in the number of petrol stations has meant for fuel
supply and price. In 1990, there were some 18,000 forecourts. Now there
are fewer than 9,000.”
AA president Edmund King welcomed the OFT’s decision but said the move was “overdue”.
Summer 2012 prices
The average cost of a litre of unleaded is 138.99 pence, while the average price of a litre of diesel is 143.52 pence.
Global concern over fuel
over the price of diesel and petrol is global, with Germany, Spain and
Australia’s consumer watchdogs also investigating prices at their
On behalf of all motorhome-owners, dealers and manufacturers, campsites, camping
accessory suppliers and all the other local businesses who cater for
motorhome and caravan owners and other tourists, we await the OFT’s report on fuel
prices with keen interest.
Related story: Seeing red over diesel
Forum topic: LPG in France
Photos: Most motorhomes are powered by diesel – the fuel that has risen in price the most