Diesel remains 15 pence per litre more expensive than petrol – and, while the pump price has fallen, the wide gap between the fuels remains.
This is having an effect on the model mix some car dealers sell. Buyers find it harder to justify the premium diesel models command – with retained value implications.
As RHA chief executive Roger King explained, ‘We were told earlier this year that the reason diesel prices were 14 or 15 pence per litre more than petrol was due to world demand, and a shortage of refining capacity.’
‘This was understandable when oil prices reached $143 per barrel – but now that we are talking $50 or so dollars per barrel, it must be because demand has reduced, as a result of a slow-down in global activity.
King’s call to the OFT is to explain why this hasn’t been reflected in the comparable prices of diesel and petrol.
‘Why haven’t diesel prices come down to their traditional parity level with petrol? We believe that the OFT should ask some searching questions – and we have asked them to do just that.’
Because of its implications on the cars dealers sell, we will be watching this with interest.