If you bought a vehicle from any of our online car auctions in 2022 – or even just continued driving your own all year – you’ll likely be at least circumstantially aware that it was a pretty volatile year for fuel prices. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look set to change any time in the immediate future, as fuel prices are once again rising, and it looks like drivers will be taking another hit. That’s especially aggravating for diesel drivers, who were hit hardest by the ‘rocket and feather’ pricing that was prevalent throughout 2022 – and now looks likely to happen again.
What is rocket and feather pricing?
Essentially, it’s quite a useful metaphor for a relatively dry economical concept – when retail prices shoot up according to the rise in wholesale prices (rocket) but then when wholesale prices drop again, the according drop is very slow to be reflected at the pumps (feather).
Wholesale diesel costs dropped by 32p per litre in the eight weeks to December, but the pump price only fell by 20p in the same period – giving fuel retailers like Tesco’s, Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons an extra 12p profit on every litre sold.
It’s been much the same case with petrol – costs dropped by 23p in the eight weeks to December but the drop at pump prices only amounted to 18p. That again means motorists are paying notably over the odds.
All that’s been backed up by a report from the UK Competition and Markets Authority – though the tone was fairly measured, it was very clear in stating that drivers have been subject to rocket and feather pricing.
What’s been the reaction?
Would you believe: people aren’t that happy about it.
The RAC described it as a “galling situation”, and called on supermarkets not to bump up their prices further, with a spokesman saying that there’s “absolutely no justification” for pump prices to rise. However, drivers aren’t optimistic. There’s a pervasive sense amongst drivers that they’re once more about to have a very unpleasant time at the pumps. That sense has not been helped by oil giant Shell recently reporting an “obscene” $40bn profit, its highest in 115 years.
There have already been several suggestions put forward from various groups with a view to preventing the issue from being such a major problem in future. These suggestions include a regional price checker, or even an official fuel regulator (as proposed by FairFuelUK).
It’s important to say that these price rises aren’t yet certain – but let’s be honest, it might be wise to try and brace yourself as best you can, just in case!
Whatever happens with fuel prices though, you can always count on one thing – you’ll find salvage cars at the very best prices in our online car auctions. These include many from world-famous brands like BMW, Nissan and Ford. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?