With Budget 2020 upon us on March 11, it’s clear the Fledgling Chancellor has his hands full with the financial hit caused by Corona Virus and the macho oil supply spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

He has to be cognisant that this week’s oil price crash is not benefitting drivers as yet. On the day oil fell 35% since March 3, and wholesale fuel prices dropped by 7 to 8 pence bizarrely average pump prices went up between 0.4p and 0.9p per litre.

An even more shockingly, when oil was at this sterling level in March 2016, pump prices were then around 101p per litre. Yet current pump prices are over 20p per litre more than 3 years ago. How can that be fair and morally right?


Even with the lower wholesale price for some retailers still in the pipeline. It is staggering that drivers are not seeing the benefits of the massive fall in oil price to the level we saw 3 years ago.

Based on the current profit levels compared to 3 years ago in 2016, pump prices should be 16.3p per litre lower today. For decades the fuel supply chain, notably a few wholesalers have ripped off drivers at will.

When oil prices rise and fall, millions of drivers have absolutely no idea what subsequently, they will pay at the pumps each time they fill up their vehicles. It is never ever the same price! There is no consistency, logic or clarity to the way pump prices are calculated. It remains a closely guarded secret in the fuel supply chain. If it wasn’t for the supermarkets’ forecourt price cuts, always lead by ASDA, prices at the pumps wouldn’t be falling at all. Asda has cut petrol and diesel by 2p per litre to 114.7p and 116.7p respectively. But this falls way short of where the true price at the pumps should be.

The APPG for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers in supporting 37m UK Drivers in 2019 proposed the introduction of an Independent Pump Price Monitoring Body. Notionally calling this proposed consumer watchdog ‘PumpWatch’ the APGG will pursue this further, once the members take their place in 2020’s re-formed APPG.

Robert Halfon MP, Vice Chair of the Fair Fuel APPG said “PumpWatch is the only way to ensure that Motorists are not taken for a ride by greedy oil companies. Such a body will bring the rocketing fuel prices back to earth. Drivers need a fair deal.”

Howard Cox, Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign: “This relentless profiteering has got to be stopped by the Government. Everyone knows what we pay at the pumps does not follow any logic or fairness when oil prices change. The fuel industry has a moral duty to pass these savings on to consumers. PumpWatch would make that happen. If gas, electricity, water and telecoms get price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too? We need ‘PumpWatch’ now, to ensure pricing fairness for both consumers and hardworking fuel retailers too. Most of the profiteering is at wholesale level not by small independent retailers, who are also victims of the greedy businesses further up the fuel supply chain.”

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