OIL firms such as Esso and Shell are charging 14p more a litre for petrol and 12p for diesel at motorway service stations than at their other forecourts, according to research by the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent garages.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “Motorway service areas owned or supplied by major oil companies continue to extort their customers by pricing fuel much higher than at their standard company-owned sites.
“Two tier pricing was just one of the many areas for concern raised by independent fuel retailers to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).”
The OFT is investigating whether cuts in oil prices are being passed on to drivers at the pumps.
Asda, whose forecourt chain is reckoned to sell the UK’s cheapest fuel, today cut 2p a litre from petrol and diesel, bringing prices down to a maximum of 131.7p a litre for unleaded and 137.7p for diesel.
An ExxonMobil spokesman said: “We aim to ensure our Esso service stations continue to offer customers value for money and competitive fuel prices. Motorway sites cost more to build and operate and this is reflected in the pump prices which are competitive with other motorway service areas. Customers are mobile and it’s in our interests to keep our prices competitive.”