In response to reports that Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has signed off a voluntary Pumpwatch monitoring code on the retail price of fuel, the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) is calling for greater clarity from the UK Government to avoid a new scheme that could hit consumers.
The UK fuel market is a competitive one  that over the years has delivered fuels reliably at wholesale (pre-tax) prices among the lowest in Europe . Whilst, the fuel pump price in the UK is over 60% tax , very strong competition in the UK market means that the price people pay is closely linked to the price of crude oil.
UKPIA strongly believes that the consumer gets a deal that fairly reflects the global oil price, and that calling for a voluntary industry code, or a mooted watchdog, to track the prices that consumer pay is misplaced.
UKPIA Director-General Stephen Marcos Jones, said:
“When it comes to the price of fuel, the UK Government’s own evidence shows that UK fuel prices, excluding duties and tax that make up 60% of the pump price, have been among the lowest in Europe for a number of years, showing the consumer gets a good deal. UKPIA and our members will need to see what these proposals will actually entail, but will work with government to ensure that any new scheme - if needed - takes on board the full range of stakeholder views and that policy is based on sound reasoning.”
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Notes to editors:
- The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) represents eight oil refining and marketing companies that operate the six major oil refineries in the UK and source over 85% of the transport fuels used. UKPIA members also own around 1,250 of the UK's 8,476 filling stations in the UK.
 Fuel retailing in the UK remains a high volume, low margin business due to intense competition in the sector. This competition was looked at in depth by government in 2013 when the Competition and Markets Authority (then the OFT) published its report on the “UK petrol and diesel sector” with a key finding being: “Overall, on the basis of the evidence collected, it appears that competition in the UK road fuels sector is working relatively effectively.”
 According to BEIS published statistics, pre-tax prices for unleaded petrol in the UK were in the top 2 (lowest) prices within the EU-15 for December 2018-February 2019 and top 5 for diesel. These trends go back throughout BEIS data which stretches back to 1999.
 UKPIA analysis using BEIS weekly road fuel price data: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/oil-and-petroleum-products-weekly-statistics