For the fourth consecutive weekend, supermarket chain Asda has instigated more fuel cuts by confirming it will reduce the price of petrol and diesel at its filling stations from Saturday.
It’s the sixth reduction in pump prices since 26 October in response to falling wholesale unleaded and diesel costs.
The supermarket’s latest price reduction at all 320 UK forecourts means drivers will pay no more than 114.7p per litre for unleaded and 125.7p for diesel.
Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s have since announced they will also match the cuts.
Four-court cuts: Asda has trimmed the price of petrol and diesel by 2p a litre – the fourth weekend in a row the supermarket has reduced pump charges
Asda has been at the forefront of fuel cuts in the last two months, forcing rivals to follow suit with equivalent reductions at its respective filling stations.
With Morrisons and Sainsbury’s already matching Asda, Tesco is now the only supermarket yet to emulate the 2p fuel reductions across their respective stores.
Announcing its latest reductions, Asda’s senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyrer said: ‘Motorists filling up at Asda will pay no more than 114.7p per litre on unleaded and 125.7p per litre on diesel.
‘With only a few weeks until Christmas we’re pleased we can do our bit to make our customers’ hard-earned cash go a little further.’
Confirming its cuts at 314 forecourts up and down the country, David Pegg, fuel buying Manager for Sainsbury’s, said: ‘In this busy festive season we’re doing all we can to help our customers live well for less and this is why we have decided to lower fuel prices for the fifth week in a row.
‘As of Saturday 8 December, both petrol and diesel prices will be reduced by up to 2 pence per litre so that whether they’re shopping for gifts or stocking up on festive food, customers know that when they shop at Sainsbury’s they can not only fill their trolleys but also their cars at fantastic value.’
Ashley Myers, Morrisons head of fuel, added: ‘With Christmas just weeks away, this saving will help many motorists’ wallets in the run up to the festive season.’
While yet more reductions at filling stations are welcome news for motorists, they should be pocketing more significant savings, according to experts.
The RAC, which monitors average fuel prices daily, slammed fuel providers for not making bigger cuts in response to oil and wholesale prices shrinking.
The motoring organisation said retailers have been overcharging at forecourts to the tune of 10p a litre for unleaded and 7p for diesel by the end of November (see chart below).
Sainsbury’s will also cut petrol and diesel prices by 2p a litre from Saturday, the supermarket confirmed
Morrisons has emulated Asda’s fuel cuts and will knock prices down tomorrow
Based on the average family car having a 55-litre fuel tank, that’s an extra £5.50 each time drivers fill a car with petrol and £3.85 for diesel.
The fuel watch experts had predicted that prices for both fuels should ‘still fall considerably over the course of the next fortnight’, but only as long as retailers play fair and pass savings on to customers.
Reacting to Asda’s latest statement, RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: ‘Fuel has been overpriced on our forecourts for over a month so while this is another step in the right direction all retailers should have reduced prices far quicker.
‘Instead many have capitalised on a chance to make more money while hard-pressed motorists continued to fork out for unnecessarily expensive petrol.
‘We need reductions in the wholesale price to be passed on quickly in the same way increases are when oil is going up.’
He added: ‘Now it’s vital the other supermarkets start to compete with Asda in the way they were doing two months ago.
‘Without this other retailers will not bring their prices down quickly enough and the UK average prices will not fall to the level they should be at.
‘In the season of goodwill we need retailers to charge motorists a fair price for both petrol and diesel.’
The RAC also highlighted that prices might soon take a turn and begin to increase, depending on an Opec oil producers’ meeting in Vienna today.
It said any agreement to curb oil output could mark the start of rising oil prices again, which is likely to have the effect of pushing up wholesale fuel prices – and in turn the price motorists in the UK pay to fill up.
AA spokesman Luke Bosdet commented: ‘Fuel retailers continue grudgingly to pass on the savings from lower wholesale fuel costs, given a kick each week by Asda’s latest price cut.
‘However, this refusal to pass on the full saving in a timely fashion simply denies other retailers consumer spending that should be flowing into their Christmas tills.’
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