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Supermarkets in petrol price war

A fuel price war has broken out between Northern Ireland’s three main supermarkets — 24 hours after the global price of a barrel of oil plunged.

Tesco triggered the move, which has been welcomed by motorists, by slashing 3p off a litre of petrol and diesel at forecourts yesterday.

Rivals Asda and Sainsbury’s later followed suit by cutting tariffs by 3p from today after oil prices dropped sharply following the opening of emergency reserves by the International Energy Agency. Richard Brasher, UK chief executive of Tesco — which charges customers different fuel prices depending on where they live — said customers were paramount.

He said: “We know people are feeling the pinch so we want to pass on the benefit of a fall in oil prices straight away.”

The announcement will bring relief to drivers as wages fail to match the rising cost of living.

The AA’s June Fuel Price Report revealed that the average price of unleaded in Northern Ireland, at 137.4p per litre, is higher than any other UK region.

But now beleaguered Ulster motorists can pay around 130.7p for petrol, and not more than 134.7p for diesel.

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AA president Edmund King urged fuel retailers across the board to offer savings to drivers after oil plunged by over $8 (£5) to $90 (£56) a barrel on Thursday.

He said: “High fuel prices are now affecting a record three-quarters of drivers who are having to cut back on journeys.”

Sainsbury’s also operates regional pricing policies, meaning fuel prices vary across different geographical locations.

A spokesman said: “We know consumer budgets are stretched so from today fuel prices will drop.”

Asda remains the only retail giant in Northern Ireland who charges a uniform price across local forecourts.


  • Latest average UK prices: petrol 136.12p; diesel 139.98p.
  • A year ago, average petrol cost 118.24p; diesel 120.74p.
  • Typical 50-litre car refill costs £8.94 more than a year ago.
  • Typical 80-litre van refill costs £15.39 more than a year ago.
  • A family with two petrol cars spends £37.97 a month more petrol than a year ago.
  • On May 9, petrol rose to a record 137.43p; diesel hit 143.04p.
  • They fell on June 5 to 135.75p (petrol) and 139.34p (diesel).
  • June’s rise in fuel prices peaked on the 20th when UK petrol soared to 136.20p and diesel hit 140.03p.

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