ASDA challenges supermarkets to fuel duel

22 July 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
After weeks of escalating fuel costs, Britain's big supermarkets announced they would lower their petrol prices, with ASDA launching the challenge by dropping the price by three pence per litre.

Within hours Morrisons and Sainsbury's followed suit, promising price cuts of four pence and five pence on their diesel and petrol prices.

The price cuts will bring down the cost of unleaded petrol to 113.9p per litre, while diesel will cost 128.9p per litre. With the summer holidays ahead, the news will come as a great relief for many customers struggling to fill their tanks.

Due to the rising price of crude oil petrol prices have soared in recent months. However, as the price per barrel has fallen from its recent peak of $147 to $130, customers at the petrol forecourts finally will be able to reap the benefits.

ASDA trading director, David Miles, commented: "We are seeing a more stable reduction in oil prices allowing us to pass on the savings to customers. We urge other retailers to follow our lead at a time when customers need as much help as possible.

"The latest price cut is a further example of ASDA making motoring more affordable and illustrates our commitment to passing on cost savings to our customers" he said.

On top of the price cut some supermarkets offer additional benefits to their customers such as reductions if they spend £50 or more in the stores. ASDA credit card holders who use their cards to pay for petrol will get a further discount of two pence per litre.

The soaring fuel prices have tempted many Brits into illegal action in the past months in the form of stealing petrol from other vehicles, new research from RAC revealed. The figures show that car breakdowns caused by stolen fuel have nearly doubled in the last six months.

Londoners have been hit hardest, with a 500 per cent increase in fuel thefts, followed by the South West with 218 per cent rise, and the West Midlands, where fuel theft cases have doubled since the beginning of the year.

"These figures are clearly symptomatic of the desperation motorists are feeling amid rising fuel costs." RAC patrolman Prakesh Patel, explains. "It's alarming that we've seen such dramatic increases reported since the beginning of the year."

Although the actual numbers of fuel theft may be relatively small, it is crucial for motorists to ensure they have sufficient car breakdown cover. Mr Patel also urges consumers to be extra vigilant as stolen fuel might cost them more than just a refill: "Victims don't just have to fork out for replacement fuel, there is also evidence that running cars with insufficient fuel can cause additional damage."

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