Business that made headlines for its prices in 2008 back in spotlight
A service station near Antrim is charging almost £1.55 for a litre of premium diesel.
Car owners, meanwhile, are being charged nearly £1.52 per litre of premium petrol at the Tannaghmore Maxol on the A26.
Drivers who contacted the Belfast Telegraph said they did a double take after seeing the prices in neon lights as they approached the station between Antrim and Ballymena.
It is not the first time the family business on the busy Ballymena-bound dual carriageway, which features the biggest Maxol forecourt in Northern Ireland, has made the headlines for the high price of its fuel.
In July 2008, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the service station was selling petrol for what was then a shocking £1.04 a litre.
This was shortly after Hurricane Katrina caused devastation in the US.
Tannaghmore station, which recently underwent a complete refurbishment and won a forecourt trader of the year award in 2018, confirmed that premium diesel and petrol were currently priced at 154.9 pence per litre and 151.9ppl respectively.
Kevin Paterson, retail manager at Maxol, said premium fuel was more expensive than its regular counterpart.
“For clarification, we have premium fuel on sale in nine of our sites across Northern Ireland,” he added.
“Premium fuel is priced higher than our regular fuel and offers better fuel economy and has fewer pollutants.
“The price at A26 Tannaghmore for regular fuel is £1.44 [per litre] for petrol and £1.47 for diesel and is comparative to other fuel suppliers”.
A few miles up the road, Townparks Maxol station on Antrim’s Ballymena Road was charging drivers 153.9 per litre for premium diesel and 150.9 for premium unleaded last Sunday.
At those pumps, regular petrol was 143.9p per litre and diesel 146.9p.
At the start of this month, the average price of a litre of diesel was 147.94p, according to Experian Catalist data cited by the RAC and AA.
That set a new record, surpassing the previous high of 147.93p, set in April 2012.
The average price of petrol, meanwhile, was 144.35p, nearly 2p a litre more expensive than its 2012 high of 142.48p.
A year ago, a litre of unleaded was costing just 114.5p, and the latest prices mean that well over £15 is being added to the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car.
On Tuesday, the RAC claimed that some retailers were failing to pass on the latest cut in oil prices to consumers and were overcharging by as much as 12p per litre for petrol and 10p per litre of diesel.
The motoring organisation also suggested that fuel retailers should be scrutinised by the government if they fail to cut prices accordingly.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams estimated that retailers were making more than treble the pre-pandemic profit-per-litre figure of 6p.
The primary reason for the fuel hikes is the doubling in global oil costs over the last 12 months, with Brent crude at one stage heading towards $100 a barrel.
Oil prices fell by around $10 a barrel on Friday in response to concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant.
On Tuesday, Brent crude was trading at $70 a barrel, well below its recent height of $85. Those declines, however, have yet to be reflected at the pumps.
“If a substantial cut doesn’t materialise, we feel this is worthy of government scrutiny as there’s no public body monitoring fuel prices to see if they’re fair,” said Mr Williams.
The cheapest fuel recorded in Northern Ireland recently was £1.19 for both petrol and diesel at Go stations.
The exceptionally low figure was a one-day only offer to coincide with Black Friday.
This led to long queues of motorists at the company’s outlets as customers took delight in securing a bargain after 10 consecutive weeks of price rises.
Tannaghmore Maxol station is not, however, the most expensive fuel in the UK.
That dubious honour goes to a remote filling station in Scotland, the Cluanie Inn, which was last month selling diesel for a jaw-dropping 184.9p per litre and unleaded for 165p.