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  • Do Customers Benefit from Lower Oil Prices?

Do Customers Benefit from Lower Oil Prices?

Jan 22 2019 Read 424 Times

From up-to-the-minute statistics and monthly forecasts to historical data and annual charts, the price of oil garners global attention. However according to the RAC, motorists are being seriously short-changed when it comes to reaping the benefits of falling oil prices. Following a dramatic slump in the cost of Brent Crude, the British automotive services company is urging supermarkets to pass on savings to consumers instead of pocketing the profits.

Earlier this month, per barrel prices for the international benchmark crude fell to around US$53.80, which represents a 20% annual drop. Yet while wholesale costs for petrol and diesel simultaneously plummeted, the RAC maintains that British motorists are paying just 0.2% less when filling up the tank. Meanwhile, diesel drivers have been forced to swallow a 5.3% increase.

RAC slams supermarkets for pocketing savings

If supermarkets were to pass on wholesale savings to drivers, savings would ring in at around 4p per litre. So far, only Asda is passing on savings, with all other supermarkets refusing to reduce prices.

“The average price of unleaded is 120.8p and diesel was 130.03p (prices correct 30/12/18) – so an immediate cut of 4p a litre from these supermarkets for both is long overdue, but this should also be followed by further cuts in the coming days and weeks,” says RAC spokesman Pete Williams. “Normally, keen competition among the supermarkets influences other retailers to follow suit and lower prices when the wholesale price drops, but this is not happening at the moment.”

Brits urged to adopt best practice techniques

In response, the RAC is urging motorists to check RAC Fuel Watch and track down the cheapest local petrol prices. The organisation also suggests following best practice driving strategies like only filling up half the tank in urban settings to reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Other tips include driving at low speeds in the highest possible gear to achieve a high mpg figure, maintaining momentum where possible, maintaining tyre pressure and booking in vehicles for regular services.

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