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HomeHeadlinesGrant Shapps: Inexcusable Behaviour of Overpricing Fuel

Grant Shapps: Inexcusable Behaviour of Overpricing Fuel

UK Watchdog and Fuel Retailers to Introduce Online Fuel Price Comparison

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to collaborate with major petrol retailers and supermarkets in the country to launch an online platform allowing motorists to compare live fuel prices. This development follows a high-profile meeting between the industry’s main players and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps on Monday.

Responding to a Lack of Competition

The initiative is a response to concerns that weak competition in the sector has led to drivers being overcharged for fuel. The CMA discovered that annual supermarket margins on fuel experienced a significant increase of 6p per litre from 2019 to 2022. According to Shapps, the new scheme will empower motorists to identify the most cost-effective fuel options available.

Shapps expressed his disappointment with the major fuel retailers, including major brand supermarkets, for their “inexcusable behaviour” of overpricing. While he acknowledged the commitment to a more transparent market as a positive step, he sternly warned that companies failing to uphold their promise would face accountability.

Enhancing Transparency and Competition

The CMA’s voluntary scheme aims to increase competition and reduce fuel prices by encouraging retailers to share real-time fuel prices. This initiative is designed to precede the introduction of a new law mandating companies to publish live fuel pricing data. This move will enable consumers to identify the best local deals.

In addition to being available on a dedicated platform, the government is keen on making the pricing data accessible through third-party interfaces such as satellite navigation systems or map applications. 

Upcoming Consultation and Regulatory Oversight

Plans are underway to consult on the scheme this autumn before the implementation of new laws. The CMA has also proposed the establishment of a “fuel monitor” entity to ensure proper execution of the scheme.

This announcement follows an investigation by the CMA into the UK fuel market earlier this year, sparked by concerns that decreasing wholesale prices weren’t being reflected in consumer pricing. The investigation revealed that competition in the market was not performing as optimally as expected.

A Win for Motorists?

This latest development promises potential benefits for motorists. By offering greater transparency in fuel pricing, the new platform will enable consumers to make more informed decisions when filling up their tanks. 

Conclusion

The collaboration between the CMA and leading petrol retailers marks an important step towards greater transparency and competitive pricing in the UK fuel market. As the scheme’s details continue to be ironed out ahead of its launch, motorists across the country eagerly anticipate the benefits this level of price visibility could bring.

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