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Support for fuel price watchdog increases

MP’s are backing a call for a fuel price watchdog called ‘PumpWatch’ to monitor the cost consumers are paying at the pumps for petrol and diesel. The plan to create PumpWatch follows a petition from FairFuelUK which has gained over 14,000 signatures since the second week of December.

Analysis suggests that pump prices have been 4-8p higher than necessary since October 2018, adding an extra £600 million profit to retailers pockets. The proposed scheme would entitle petrol stations that charge fair prices to display a ‘Kitemark’ logo to help consumers make more informed decisions.

In particular, FairFuelUK wants to protect drivers from rural locations who are faced with a reduced choice of fuelling stations and rely more heavily on their vehicles to get around.

Although supported by members of the public, the proposal has been met with resistance from the fuel industry. Challenges from members of the industry include the impossibility of effectively monitoring fuel across over 8,500 stations in the UK and determining an acceptable margin on fuel prices. In rural locations where there are fewer consumers, retailers often need to charge a higher margin to stay in business.

Even faced with these challenges, FairFuelUK continues to gather support via its online petition and with mounting support from MPs and other public bodies the future of the fuel industry could be set to change.