OFT petrol market verdict met with disappointment

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that the UK petrol market is 'working well' and that there is little need for action to be taken to ensure competitiveness.

An investigation began in September to look into reports that oil companies and major supermarket chains were using scales of economy to give themselves an unfair advantage over independent retailers. However, the report indicated that was no evidence to back up this claim.

It also found that petrol and diesel prices accurately reflect the fluctuations in prices of oil experienced by retailers.

OFT chief executive 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 last decade or so have largely been down to increases in tax and the cost of crude oil."

Campaigning body Fair Fuel UK said they were extremely disappointed with the findings and the fact that investigations weren't to go any further.

Quentin Wilson, spokesman for Fair Fuel UK was shocked at the news: "UK consumers will be bitterly disappointed. The nation will feel let down."

He continued: "The OFT appears to have failed to address the key issues of why diesel is more expensive than unleaded in the UK when this is not the case in Europe, why falls in the oil price take so long to be reflected at the pump and why there are such variations in price, often from the same branded forecourts, within the same area".

What is Fair Fuel UK?

Fair Fuel UK is a campaign which aims to get the UK coalition government to reduce taxes on fuel which it suggests is severely impacting the Freight industry. It has been credited with helping prevent fuel tax rises occurring over the past few years.

It has five key objectives which, if achieved, will bring petrol and diesel prices down in line with the rest of Europe and help ease the burden fuel costs leave on hard-pressed motorists and haulage businesses.

You can find out more about the organisation and sign their petition on this link