Brit motorists being ripped off at petrol pump with ‘highest prices in Europe’

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    Motorists are being ripped off at the petrol pump with some of the highest prices in Europe.

    The RAC studied 28 countries in Europe and found British motorists paid the joint fifth highest petrol and diesel prices.

    Overall, Britain had the fourth most expensive petrol, averaging 153p per litre on December 19, and the second priciest diesel at 176p per litre.

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    France, Italy and Spain all had much lower prices.

    Motorists in Luxembourg pay an average of 128p per litre while Bulgarians pay 112p.

    Malta has the cheapest diesel at 106p per litre.

    Business Secretary Grant Shapps has written to retailers asking them to give drivers a fair deal on fuel or he could threaten them with the state intervening.

    He said he “will not hesitate to act to ensure competition is healthy and consumers get a fair deal on their fuel”.

    Tory MP Greg Smith claimed fuel retailers are daily “fleecing” drivers.

    The RAC last week said the big four supermarkets are failing to pass on falls in wholesale fuel prices that rose after the war in the Ukraine.

    In March, fuel duty was cut by 5p a litre.

    RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Drivers are being shockingly short-changed by some of the biggest retailers. The wholesale price of petrol has fallen by 23p a litre since late October yet the average pump price in the UK has only come down by 14p.

    “Drivers will no doubt be utterly shocked to find out just how cheap fuel is in most of the rest of Europe. It’s plain to see that fuel in the UK shouldn’t be as expensive as it is.

    “We’ve been calling on the big four supermarkets to cut prices for weeks due to falling wholesale prices. So far, they have flatly refused to do the right thing.”

    The Competition and Markets Authority, which regulates the market, is investigating pricing and is due to report in the spring.

    Diesel is 27p more expensive than a year ago and petrol is up 7p.

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