Live petrol pricing - CMA calls for fuel price comparison website

The CMA is claiming that a petrol price comparison website could help to ignite some competition in the market and help drivers get a better deal


THE Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is calling for petrol retailers to come clean on the petrol price they are charging. The CMA wants a petrol price comparison website, giving drivers real-time fuel price information.

The idea is hoped to drive up competition between petrol retailers, something that would in turn drive down the price at the pump and help out motorists. As it stands, petrol retailers only provide pricing information at the point of sale, and even then nearby petrol stations (even those representing the same brand) can have a variance in the price motorists pay.

This new scheme would force all petrol retailers to provide real-time data relating to the price of petrol and diesel, with this information being used to populate the website. It’s not quite as straightforward as that though, and for the whole idea to work a new department would need to be created to oversee the project.

The move has come about after Asda was fined £60,000 for failing to provide up-to-date pricing information, and after it has been revealed that some retailers have been increasing their profit margins and not passing savings on to customers.

To combat this kind of behaviour, the website would not just list the price the customer pays per litre of fuel, but also how much of a margin the retailer is adding on top. Not only does this help customers to find the best price, but it also means you can check to see which retailers are passing on any savings to drivers and riders.

Should the system be given the green light, it could be automated and included in sat-nav software and smartphone navigation apps. In this way your sat-nav or smartphone could, in the future, automatically direct customers to the most competitive petrol station in their local area.

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