Asda slashes petrol prices again, but cuts should have come sooner says RAC

Asda slashes petrol prices again, but cuts should have come sooner says RAC

It is the second time Asda has cut prices in a week

Stephen Little
Wed, 02/05/2020 – 11:10

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Asda has cut fuel prices for the second time in a week, knocking 2p a litre off petrol and 4p a litre off diesel.

Drivers filling up at any of Asda’s’s 322 petrol stations will benefit from the price cut, which has now seen the retailer bring fuel prices down by up to 7p per litre during the last week.

Drivers filling up at any Asda filling station will pay no more than 118.7p for unleaded and 120.7p on diesel.

Asda shaved 3p off a litre of petrol last week, sparking a price war among the supermarkets.

Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are expected to follow Asda’s lead once again.

Asda senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyre, says: “We’re pleased to be passing on these wholesale cost prices to customers for the second time in two weeks as the price of oil continues to fall.

“This is the second time in a week we’ve led a price cut, bringing the cost of fuel down by up to 7p per litre.

“We will continue to put the savings straight back into drivers’ pockets without any vouchering requirements meaning all our customers, regardless of their budget, will benefit from a price cut at the pumps.”

Cuts should have come earlier

While the cuts are good news for motorists, the RAC says they should have come earlier.

The UK’s big four supermarkets increased petrol prices every day during January until the cuts were announced at the end of the month.

This was despite a fall in wholesale price of petrol in January, mainly due to the fall in demand in China because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The RAC says this should have led to a price reduction at the pumps in January, but instead retailers put their prices up for the second consecutive month.

A litre of unleaded rose 0.92p to 127.60p in January, according to RAC data.

Diesel is now 132.04p, up from 131.08p at the start of the month.

However, at the supermarkets, unleaded rose 1.51p on average to 123.69p, while diesel was up 1.30p to 128.14p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says: “Based on steadily falling wholesale prices January should have been a good month for drivers at the pumps, but instead they ended up paying well over the odds.

“Retailers were very quick to protect themselves from a slight jump in the price of oil caused by the tensions between Iran and the US at the start of January by putting up forecourt prices, but when the cost of a barrel dropped back, for some reason, retail prices carried on going up.

“Our biggest retailers – the supermarkets – blatantly resisted passing on the savings they were making to drivers until the RAC publicly called on them to do so.

“This was clearly good news, but it’s hard to congratulate retailers on doing something they should have done at least a week before. Even since the cut pump prices are still out of kilter with what’s been happening on the wholesale market. As things stand now – despite the cuts – petrol is still 5p too expensive and diesel over 7p too dear.

 “We strongly urge retailers of all sizes to play fair with drivers and cut their forecourt prices. Going forwards we call on them to charge prices that more closely mirror drops in the cost they buy fuel in at in the same way they do when prices go up.”

 Regional fuel prices

Those living in Northern Ireland saw the largest monthly price increase of unleaded in the UK of 0.92p, taking a litre to 125.62p. The smallest increase was in London, with prices rising by 0.52p to £128.26p. Prices fell in the North West by 0.14p to 126.78p.

Regional average unleaded pump prices

Area

02/01/2020

30/01/2020

Change

UK average

126.68p

127.60p

0.92

Northern Ireland

123.83

125.62

1.79

North East

124.52

126.25

1.73

Wales

125.29

126.87

1.58

Yorkshire And The Humber

125.57

126.71

1.14

Scotland

125.76

126.88

1.12

East

126.82

127.87

1.05

South West

126.35

127.38

1.03

East Midlands

126.40

127.40

1.00

West Midlands

126.81

127.52

0.71

South East

127.73

128.40

0.67

London

127.74

128.26

0.52

North West

126.92

126.78

-0.14

Source: RAC 2020

Wales saw the biggest increase in the cost of diesel with a litre going up to 130.07p after a 1.56p rise. The South East had the most expensive diesel at 132.08p and Northern Ireland the cheapest at 128.02p. The North West had the smallest monthly increase at 0.70p litre.

Regional average diesel pump prices

Diesel

02/01/2020

30/01/2020

Change

UK average

131.08

132.04

0.96

Wales

130.07

131.63

1.56

Scotland

130.46

131.87

1.41

Northern Ireland

128.02

129.27

1.25

North East

129.42

130.62

1.20

South West

130.90

132.08

1.18

Yorkshire And The Humber

130.04

131.15

1.11

East

131.56

132.49

0.93

East Midlands

130.97

131.88

0.91

South East

132.08

132.96

0.88

West Midlands

130.83

131.70

0.87

London

131.52

132.27

0.75

North West

130.52

131.22

0.70

Source: RAC 2020

How to cut down on your fuel costs

Here are some handy tips to help you reduce your fuel costs.

Shop around

To save wasting fuel hunting down the cheapest forecourts you can enter your postcode at on PetrolPrices.com or Confused.com.

Make sure your journey to the garage does not cancel out the savings made though.

It is also best to avoid filling up at a motorway service station as these tend to be more expensive.

Regular maintenance

Making your car more fuel-efficient can also help you cut down on your petrol bills.

Regular maintenance and servicing can significantly help improve fuel efficiency.

A poorly-tuned engine can reduce fuel economy by 10% or more, so it is a good idea to get your car regular serviced.

Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption, so make sure they are pumped up properly.

Excess weight can also hurt fuel economy, so remove anything that is not essential, such as roof racks.

Supermarket loyalty schemes

Supermarkets such as Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all have loyalty schemes that transfer the benefits from your daily shopping to the petrol pumps.

If you have a Sainsbury’s nectar card you can use it to fill up at Sainsbury’s and BP forecourts. For every litre of fuel you buy you will get one nectar point – worth half a penny. While it might not sound like much it could save you around £5 for every 10,000 miles on average.

With a Tesco Clubcard you will get one point for every £2 you spend at a Tesco petrol station. For every 150 points you will get £1.50 in vouchers, which you can then use in-store.

With the Morrison’s More scheme you earn five points per litre when you buy fuel. You can also earn five points for every £1 you spend in store and online.

Once you get to £5,000 points you will get a five pound voucher.

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New funding for mortgage prisoner research

New funding for mortgage prisoner research

The research will look for solutions to help homeowners trapped on expensive mortgages.

Emma Lunn
Wed, 02/05/2020 – 09:17

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The research by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will look for solutions to help homeowners trapped on expensive mortgages. 

Its aim is to find evidence-based policy solutions, which will push the Government to step in and rescue the mortgage prisoners the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) hasn’t helped. 

Martin Lewis is making a personal donation of £25,000 through his charitable foundation to help fund the study. 

What are mortgage prisoners?

“Mortgage prisoners” are homeowners who are unfairly trapped on an expensive mortgage, often with inactive lenders.

When these borrowers try to remortgage to cheaper deals they are often told they don’t meet affordability tests brought in after the financial crash – even though their new payments would be cheaper and they have not fallen behind on payments previously.

What is being done to help mortgage prisoners?

In May 2018, the FCA found 150,000 consumers in the UK were mortgage prisoners. The regulator said it was able to help 30,000 of these who were with lenders the FCA could force to help their trapped customers. But the other 120,000 borrowers had had their mortgages bought by firms who aren’t authorised to lend – so the FCA doesn’t have the power to make them do anything.

The FCA announced a “modified affordability assessment” last year for borrowers who meet certain criteria and want to remortgage. However, it says that many lenders haven’t been interested in implementing the new assessments.

In January 2020, FCA research found there were 250,000 people whose mortgages were with inactive or unregulated lenders. Of these, 170,000 were up-to-date with payments.

The cost of mortgage prisoners

Lewis says: “It’s time the Government accepted the responsibility to find a solution for these vulnerable consumers. Its failure to do so is short-sighted. The cost of mortgage prisoners doesn’t just fall on the individuals, it falls across society.

“The impact of leaving people locked in to unaffordable mortgages can be catastrophic. It can leave them dependent on the state, with little savings for old age, and even adding to NHS costs with the hideous and disastrous mental health impact that can occur when you destroy someone’s financial life choices.

“So, over the next few months, we’re asking the LSE to explore a range of cost-effective, practical policy solutions the Government could employ to rescue mortgage prisoners – which we can then take to the Treasury.”

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