Van drivers will have good reason to call in at their local supermarket this week as three of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK announce they are cutting the price of fuel.
On the day that tanker driver leaders must decide whether to accept the offer made by the oil distribution companies or give notice of a strike, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have announced they are reducing the cost of fuel at their supermarket garage forecourts. Asda set the ball rolling by announcing to its customers that unleaded fuel would be no more than 138.7p a litre and that diesel would have a top price of 143.7p a litre, in both cases a cut of about 2p a litre. Tesco immediately countered the Asda news by dropping the price to 137.9 and 140.9 ensuring they were cheaper on both types of fuel. Sainsbury’s later announced they would be “cutting the price of petrol and diesel in many of our stores” without actually putting a figure on the price drop.
In fact the news of the price war comes just days after motoring organisation AA revealed that wholesale prices for oil had dropped by 7% in the last few days. A spokesman for the AA said: “When you have your average family spending more on filling up than they spend in a week on food, prices need to come down as quickly as they can. If the wholesale petrol price holds or continues to crash, the UK pump prices should fall at least 4p in the next fortnight. With VAT that rises to 5p.”
Steve Hughes, a commercial driver from Dudley, was one of the first to take advantage of the price drop at a West Midlands Tesco garage, and said “ I never thought I would be happy to see the price of Diesel at 140p a litre but I am today and I’ve also just managed to get a reduction on my van insurance as well.” The cut will come just in time to save some smaller commercial enterprises as the Fuel Card association noted last week that some smaller fleet companies were turning work down because the price of fuel had completely eroded their profit margins.