Petrol Retailers Refute Pump Price Fears

'Forecourt retailers are not responsible for the current high price of  fuel, which is the result of normal seasonal demand being exacerbated by financial speculators investing in the oil market, and the Government’s refusal to cut the UK’s high fuel taxes,’ according to Ray Holloway, Director of the RMI Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).

Holloway explains: ‘Financial speculators are investing in oil markets, and pushing prices higher, then taking a profit and watching prices fall back before starting the whole process all over again. At the same time thanks to the Government, UK motorists still pay the highest fuel duty in the world. If this were reduced, motorists would immediately pay less for their fuel.’

Some sources are predicting that unleaded petrol could reach £1.50 per litre during the summer, but Holloway believes that it is highly unlikely: ‘Upward price trajectory is usual for this time of year, as we head slowly towards the high-fuel-demand summer holiday season, but it is extremely doubtful that we will see the price of a litre hit £1.50.’

‘Motorists will pay slightly more per litre until mid year, when the increase will drop away.’

The price variation is usually affected by a range of international factors, including increased demand abroad. However Holloway believes that the impact will be lessened this year: ‘US demand will be lower than normal, as motorists in America find themselves paying for fuel at a record high; the equivalent of 54 pence per litre.’

Drivers can help to reduce their own fuel consumption immediately by altering their driving habits:

  • Avoid excessive acceleration and violent braking.
  • Be in the appropriate gear for your speed.
  • Make sure that tyres pressures are correct.
  • Reduce the weight of your vehicle by removing unnecessary clutter from the boot.
  • Improve aerodynamic performance: Remove roof rack if not being used; roll up
  • windows when driving at speed.

Holloway adds: ‘While it will take a spectacular event to force prices as high as some pundits are predicting for the UK this year, motorists can immediately improve their own fuel consumption, and therefore reduce costs.’

16 April 2008 Staff

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