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 concerns

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