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Asda accused of breaking ‘cheap fuel pledge’ as petrol prices fall for first time in 2024

Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are found to have cheaper fuel on average as UK sees first monthly price drop this year

Fuel pump

Asda is now the most expensive out of the top four supermarkets when it comes to filling up your car, the RAC’s monthly Fuel Watch Report has claimed.

Despite having long marketed itself as boasting the cheapest petrol and diesel prices amongst the biggest supermarkets, the RAC says that Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all have petrol that’s, on average, 2.1p cheaper per litre, and diesel that’s 2.5p per litre less expensive.

The RAC’s findings have been rebuffed by Asda, the supermarket chain now owned by American giant Walmart. It says the RAC claims do not reflect the cost of fuel at its major supermarkets, as the figures also take into account Asda’s pricier convenience locations. An Asda spokesperson told Auto Express that “Asda was the price leader in the supermarket fuel sector in May and we remain focused on providing our customers with the best value at the pumps as we grow in the convenience sector”.

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Still, the RAC’s spokesperson, Rod Dennis, blasted Asda for breaking its “pledge” to keep fuel prices down, adding that despite other supermarkets now offering lower prices, “there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of price competition taking place [across the industry]”.

This all comes after the UK has seen its first monthly drop in fuel prices this year, with the cost of petrol and diesel having both risen by 10 pence per litre at the start of May. In fact, steep rises in diesel prices recently won the UK the dubious honour of being the most expensive place to buy diesel in Europe.

The new Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act, which recently made its way onto the UK’s statute books, will give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) greater powers to stop fuel retailers from exploiting customers with high prices. 

“The CMA now has the powers it needs to take a closer look at what’s going on across the country,” says Dennis. “In the short term, this should mean greater visibility of pump prices for drivers – and the far fairer prices that those in Northern Ireland continue to enjoy. But crucially, it should also mean it can identify occasions where wholesale price drops aren’t being properly reflected at the pumps, something our analysis shows is sadly still happening.”

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Consumer reporter

Tom is Auto Express' Consumer reporter, meaning he spends his time investigating the stories that matter to all motorists - enthusiasts or otherwise. An ex-BBC journalist and Multimedia Journalism graduate, Tom previously wrote for partner sites Carbuyer and DrivingElectric and you may also spot him throwing away his dignity by filming videos for the Auto Express social media channels.

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