The government is planning to increase competition on forecourts with a novel idea according to the BBC. This is in response to a report by the competition and markets authority which concluded that some retailers have been failing to pass on savings due to decreasing oil prices.
The new scheme will oblige fuel retailers to share all price changes within just 30 minutes. What this means in practice is that online comparison sites will be able to use this data in real time to keep drivers up to date with the latest prices, enabling them to seek out the cheapest deals easily.
The plan is in consultation phase at the moment, meaning that the government is seeking views from stakeholders and members of the public in order to understand if the idea is viable and if so, how to implement it.
It seems likely that it will happen at some point though, as whilst the PRA (Petrol Retailers Association) claims that its members operate on already very tight margins, it has said it will give it’s support to the scheme, suggesting that it has taken a pragmatic approach to the issue.
It’s expected that the changes could mean anything up to savings of 3p per litre for consumers, which would be a significant saving. Whilst we all know that world events can have a massive impact on fuel costs, it’s good to see that consumers are being placed at the heart of this initiative, which very much concentrates on elements within our control.
The “Pumpwatch” scheme consultation closes on 12th March and is open to all to respond to on the governments’ website.
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