CMA to launch ‘fuel finder’ scheme to help drivers get cheaper petrol as supermarket forecourts criticised
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A new ‘fuel finder’ scheme to help drivers find cheaper petrol is to be launched after a watchdog discovered drivers paid more than they should due to ‘lack of competition’ at supermarket forecourts last year. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said supermarkets are usually the cheapest places to buy fuel but a lack of competition had driven up prices by an extra 6p per litre.
The regulator is now planning to launch a "fuel finder scheme" to help motorists find better prices online. Boss Sarah Cardell said competition was "not working as well as it should be and something needs to change swiftly".
The CMA found the average annual supermarket margins on fuel had increased by 6p per litre between 2019 and 2022. It also found that Asda’s targeted fuel margins for this year were more than three times what they had been for 2019, while Morrisons’ target doubled in the same period.
Ms Cardell added: "Drivers buying fuel at supermarkets in 2022 have paid around 6 pence per litre more than they would have done otherwise, due to the four major supermarkets increasing their margins.
"This will have had a greater impact on vulnerable people, particularly those in areas with less choice of fuel stations."
According to figures, drivers lost nearly £1bn as a result of increased retailer margins on fuel, and The RAC praised the CMA’s report, referring to it as a “landmark.”
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "It is nothing short of astounding in a cost-of-living crisis and confirms what we’ve been saying for many years that supermarkets haven’t been treating drivers fairly at the pumps."