Asda sparks petrol price war by lowering fuel prices by 2p

Asda started a petrol price war by reducing fuel prices by up to 2p a litre — just hours before the AA was set to shame retailers for ripping off customers.

The supermarket giant today announced it would be cutting unleaded prices by 2p a litre and diesel by 1p a litre after the sharp increase in costs caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The price drop was announced only hours before the AA planned to reveal retailers that had still not lowered fuel prices in small, rural towns in the wake of the storms.

An AA press release, which was due to be released tomorrow morning, read: ‘Two out of 10 main fuel retailers, including a leading supermarket, have added more than 4p to their average petrol price in the past month.

A reduction in the supply of fuel as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have meant a hike in prices for UK motorists. But now Asda has sparked a petrol price war by slashing costs 

‘This follows predictions that US refinery closures following Hurricane Harvey would add 4p to the average UK price of petrol. 

‘In reality, UK wholesale petrol costs rose from 34.5p a litre to 38.3p in the last two days of August, but have been on a downward track ever since.’

Asda’s price drop was quickly followed by Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco, who have all claimed they too will slash their prices.

Horrific storms which battered the Caribbean and US in recent weeks resulted in a cut in supply, which meant a hike in fuel prices for UK motorists.  


Comparing mid-September pump averages with mid August’s, prices at the start of the week looked like this: 

Average pump prices (pence per litre)

Petrol: mid September – 119.82, mid August – 116.53. Change: +3.29

Diesel: mid September – 120.53, mid August – 117.44. Change: +3.09

The last time pump prices were higher:

Petrol: 13 March 2017 – 120.00p

Diesel: 27 April 2017 – 120.53p

But the AA were due to say that the previous two and-a-half weeks of falling wholesale costs meant that pump priced should have been heading down. 

But many retailers were ‘still maxing out on a 4p-a-litre wholesale leap that lasted just two days’, the organisation were due to say. 

Responding to Asda’s price cuts, the AA’s fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet says: ‘Once again Asda comes to the rescue of UK drivers as other fuel retailers wait to see who will move first on price cuts that should have happened days ago. 

‘The only reason that retailers can get away with this is because there isn’t the transparency in the fuel market that motorists in the US, South East Asia and Australia enjoy.’ 

Column This month’s prices Last month’s prices Price change 
Asda  116.14  112.95  3.19 
BP 121.81 118.56 3.25
Esso 120.68 117.38  3.30
Jet 119.76 116.22 3.54
Morrisons 117.78 113.63 4.15
Murco 121.70 117.49 4.21
Sainsbury’s 116.57 113.47 3.10
Shell 121.55 117.99 3.56
Tesco  117.15 113.92 3.23 
Texaco  120.77 117.38 3.39
 UK Average  119.82 116.53 3.29
Column This month’s prices Last month’s prices Price change 
Asda  117.03 113.37 3.66 
BP 122.60 119.67 2.93
Esso 121.31 118.39 2.92
Jet 120.15 116.96 3.19
Morrisons 118.20 114.56 3.64
Murco 121.96 118.51 3.45
Sainsbury’s 117.45 114.15 3.30
Shell 122.73 119.40 3.33
Tesco  117.97 114.55 3.42 
Texaco  121.29 118.10 3.19
UK Average  120.53 117.44 3.09

Now, Morrisons is planning to cut 2p off both petrol and diesel prices, while Tesco and Sainsbury’s are sticking to the same reductions as Asda. 

The changes at Asda’s 308 petrol stations nationwide bring the national price cap down to 115.7p a litre for unleaded fuel and 116.7p for diesel.

An Asda spokesman told Forecourt Trader the supermarket giant was ‘leading the way’ when it comes to reducing the cost of fuel. 

A Sainsbury’s spokesman added: ‘This is a nice piece of news for our customers on the roads this weekend.

‘We always aim to provide our customers with fantastic prices and great quality across all of our products and services and we hope this price drop will help them to keep costs down as they start thinking ahead to Christmas.’ 

Rodger Beer, Tesco’s Fuel Buyer told MailOnline: ‘As an extra little help we’ll be dropping the price of our petrol by up to 2ppl and diesel by up to 1ppl. 

‘This will mean millions of customers save money by shopping at Tesco.’ 

While Steve Mosey, Morrisons Services Director, said: ‘We are responding quickly and we are cutting both diesel and unleaded by up to 2p-a-litre.’

The supermarket giant (pictured) has led its rivals Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons to follow suit, with promises they too will reduce fuel costs across the country tomorrow 

The supermarket giant (pictured) has led its rivals Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons to follow suit, with promises they too will reduce fuel costs across the country tomorrow 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams also commented: ‘This is some very welcome relief for motorists who have suffered a 3p a litre rise in the average price of petrol since mid-August as a result of Storm Harvey hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast and disrupting refineries.

‘Motorists are now paying nearly 120p a litre for unleaded – the highest since March – while the average price at the big four supermarkets is 117p.

‘This latest cut from the supermarkets should force forecourt reductions across the country, hopefully bringing prices down by 2p a litre everywhere.

‘Strangely, this has all come at time when the oil price has increased by around $7 a barrel since mid-August, but it is the strengthening of the pound to $1.35 that has made the big difference as fuel like oil is traded in dollars.’