Sainsbury’s and Asda spark hopes of petrol price war with 3p per litre cut

Sainsbury’s and Asda spark hopes of petrol price war with 3p per litre cut
Sainsbury’s and Asda spark hopes of petrol price war with 3p per litre cut

Asda and Sainsbury’s have become the first major fuel retailers to respond to a drop in oil prices and cut the petrol and diesel prices.

The supermarket chains, two of the biggest fuel sellers in the country, have both announced that they will reduce prices in the wake of the falling wholesale price.

Asda has cut prices at all 322 of its filling stations, with reductions of up to 3p per litre effective immediately. It means drivers filling up at any Asda filling station will pay no more than 120.7ppl for unleaded and 124.7ppl for diesel.

Sainsbury’s has also said it will drop the price of unleaded petrol and diesel by “up to” 3p per litre all 315 of its filling stations from Friday, January 31.

David Pegg, fuel buying manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “As we head into the start of February we are committed to helping our customers live well for less, which is why we’re dropping the price of both unleaded petrol and diesel by up to 3 pence per litre across every single one of our forecourts from Friday.”

driver paying at pump for fuel
The cut will save drivers up to 3p per litre on fuel (Photo: Shutterstock)

Asda senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyrer, said: “We’re pleased to be dropping fuel prices for the first time this year. January has been a tough month for motorists so we’re glad to be dropping the cost in line with falling wholesale markets. We will continue to put the savings straight back into drivers’ pockets without any vouchering requirements, meaning all our customers, regardless of their budget, will benefit from a price cut at the pumps.”

The move comes after the RAC demanded fuel retailers pass recent savings on to their customers having increased their prices steadily since the start of the year. The average price of regular unleaded petrol is currently 128p per litre while diesel is 132.6ppl.

Wholesale oil prices dropped below $60 a barrel last Friday in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China. The outbreak has seen travel restrictions put in place which has driven down demand, affecting global oil prices.

The RAC’s Simon Williams said that prices could fall ever further and estimated that fuel prices should drop by up to 5p per litre in coming weeks if retailers respond to the drop.

He commented: “We urge the supermarkets, who are so influential in what drivers pay for fuel due to their massive market share, to pass on the wholesale savings they’re benefiting to motorists at the pumps, especially as they have actually increased forecourt petrol prices every day since 2 January.”

The AA’s fuel price spokesman, Luke Bosdet, called on other retailers to follow suit. He said: “Two other major supermarkets have gone back down the fuel voucher route, tying savings of 5p a litre to spends of £40-£50. Once again, if you’re on a low income and your spending power isn’t up to it, you miss out. Given the time of year with customers trying to pay off Christmas debts and fuel costs falling dramatically, that discrimination is quite simply mean.”

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