RAC chiefs also revealed drivers in Northern Ireland pay less for fuel than other areas of the United Kingdom in an urge for retailers to cut costs. RAC Fuel Watch shows a drop of 0.87p on the price of petrol in September as the average cost of unleaded dropped to 127.95p per litre. Diesel prices slowly rose by a third of a pence to hit an average of 132.07p per litre as prices failed to hit the sky-high costs predicted by some experts. Analysts predicted costs would rise by 4p per litre after last month’s Saudi Arabia oil incident which wiped out barrels at one of the worlds largest sources for global oil supply.
However, the reduction in pump prices has been met with anger by RAC chiefs who say retailers should cut costs further after massive price differences were recorded across the country.
They say retailers in the country are changing more than they should for fuel and that wholesale prices differences are not being reflected at the forecourt.
They say petrol prices are still nearly 4p per litre too high and urge retailers to cut costs for cash-strapped motorists.
RAC experts say diesel prices are also 3p per litre too high and can be sliced to save customers money at the forecourts.
They also claim drivers in Northern Ireland pay an average of 2p per litre less on petrol than the rest of the UK in a damning revelation.
The average unleaded price is around 125.87p per litre in Northern Ireland in a 2p per litre saving compared to UK prices. Diesel costs are also around 2p per litre cheaper than the UK forecourt price according to the RAC.
In a statement, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Currently, the prices drivers pay for fuel in Northern Ireland are on average 2p per litre cheaper than the rest of the UK which means retailers in the rest of the UK are charing more than they should.
“If they can afford to charge less there, they can afford to elsewhere: this can only mean that drivers in the rest of the UK are being taken advantage of.
We would very much like to hear retailers’ justification for this price differential. Northern Ireland is more often a cheaper place for petrol and diesel due to greater competition among retailers, but in the last two months we’ve seen this gap widen which can only mean drivers in the rest of the UK are losing out.”
The RAC also informed customers buying from supermarkets is often cheaper than other petrol stations.
Supermarket prices are currently 4p cheaper for both petrol and diesel than the UK average which RAC experts says is down to some retailers not passing over reductions in the wholesale price.
Williams added: “This doesn’t mean there isn’t scope or the supermarkets to do more by lowering their pieces more, it means that independent retailers simply are choosing not to compete as much or simply aren’t able to for financial reasons.
“The outlook for drivers at the pumps is looking reasonable despite the refinery attacks in Saudi Arabia.”
RAC’s Fuel Watch service predicts that diesel, unleaded and super unleaded prices were likely to come down even further.
Last month the AA claimed garages were short-changing customers by not passing extra savings onto motorists.
Reductions in the wholesale prices of oil should bring cost reductions for fuel prices but the AA’s fuel price report claimed consumers were not meeting the savings they should be.