The results of an investigation undertaken by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will leave many motorists extremely disappointed as it claims that the cost of petrol in the UK is fair, and therefore is unlikely to change any time soon. Motorists are finding it increasingly difficult to run their vehicles, especially as the cost of car insurance is set to rise, and the fact that petrol prices are so expensive. The OFT report said that: “The evidence gathered by the OFT suggests that at a national level, competition is working well in the UK road fuel sector.”
Discussing the reports’ findings, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading, Clive Maxwell said: “We recognise that there has been widespread mistrust in how this market is operating. However, our analysis suggests that competition is working well, and rises in pump prices over the last decade or so have largely been down to increases in tax and the cost of crude oil.” The report went on to say that the only change they feel needs to be made is introducing signs on motorways that will state the price of petrol at motorway service stations, as it is considerably more than at other petrol stations.
However, many organisations have been angered by the reports’ results, with Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the motoring policy body the RAC Foundation saying: “This report will only give limited comfort to the UK’s 35 million drivers who continue to pay near record prices at the pumps, but the OFT does identify the true cause of drivers’ misery – the chancellor and crude oil prices.”
“About 60% of the pump price is accounted for by fuel duty and VAT and we would now call on retailers to provide a breakdown on till receipts to show exactly what the proportion the Exchequer is creaming off. Some will find it hard to believe, but the report does make clear that the fuel market is helping keep prices lower and supermarkets have actually helped competition.”