Global oil prices hit a ten-month high today (19th Sep) and fuel prices are on the rise again, but there could soon be a quick and easy way for you to find the cheapest fuel in your area.
The Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a voluntary fuel finder scheme asking retailers to submit their fuel prices in real time, allowing customers to find the cheapest fuel in their area.
Ten of the biggest retailers have already joined the scheme, including BP, Shell, Esso, and supermarket retailers such as Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
The CMA have said the petrol stations listed so far cover approximately 60% of fuel sold in the country.
Many existing apps and websites that compare fuel prices, rely on users to update their data with information that can be a few days old. With the CMA’s new system, figures are provided by the retailers themselves and are correct for the most recent trading day.
As of last week, the cheapest place to buy fuel is at a Tesco petrol station in South Ribble, Lancashire, where petrol is just 140.9p per litre. The most expensive forecourts in the country are along motorways, with some charging 179.9p per litre of petrol.
For a Nissan Qashqai driver, it would be £22.50 cheaper to fill up in Lancashire than it would at the most expensive motorway petrol stations.
The CMA have said that this is only an interim, and voluntary, scheme. Therefore, fuel retailers aren’t required to submit their fuel prices if they don’t want to.
A CMA spokesperson said: “While this scheme is a useful first step, it’s important there is a mandatory permanent scheme in place as soon as possible, so drivers have access to real-time prices from all the fuel stations in the UK.”
It’s unclear if the permanent scheme will look any different to the temporary solution of an interactive map, or if it will just be solidified as a permanent solution.
The spokesperson also said: “The permanent scheme will also ensure effective competition, which benefits consumers and businesses”.
If you’d like to know more, check out our blog on why fuel prices are rising again.