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Blog 19 - Garages! Are they really keeping the prices up?

The news media including the AA & RAC blaze headlines accusing the garages of deliberately keeping the price up!

The Government doesn’t deny this and many MP’s repeat the same mantra, are they right?

The Wholesale price has been falling for the last 6 weeks so surely supply prices to the garages throughout the UK must fall.

The ‘futures’ price for diesel; if you wanted to take a ‘Hedge’ with your diesel needs and if you wanted to freeze your price for 12 months is presently around 8ppl lower than todays price, see graph below!

If you run a business vehicle fleet, contact me at for further info..

But what does this say about the UK’s garages?

Well, quite a lot when you look into it.

The Government are content for the general public to believe stories about theses ‘evil money-grabbing’ garage owners, as it takes the spotlight away from them for a change!

The RAC & AA vie for who can be first to claim the garages are over-charging you, though I note that this morning they've changed to attacking the Supermarkets.

The Newspapers need to fill empty columns in the 'summer silly season', so it’s all grist to the mill and all of them are happy!

So let’s imagine that you are a garage owner.

The price has fallen last week so you order a Tanker mixed load of 36,000 litres diesel & unleaded.

The delivery is scheduled, and on the delivery day, before the you receive even one litre, the oil company takes £62,000 from your account!

So you have a full load at a competitive price.

The next day the wholesale price falls by 5p per litre.

The garage or supermarket down the road gets a delivery at prices 5ppl lower that what you’ve just paid. What do you do?

If you cut your price you lose money that you’ve pre-paid.

If you hold your price the garage/supermarket down the road gets all the local sales and your now expensive stock sits in your tanks for longer and as the price falls the next day and the next your problem becomes compounded.

So next time you see those attention-grabbing headlines, spare a thought for the garage owner. He’s not ripping you off, he’s trying to survive in a tough market.

If you’re still not sure look at these figures:

In the 1950’s there were 40,000 garages in the UK. In 2000 there were 13,107 and last year just 8385.

In 1959 there were 4.5million cars in the UK. In 2021 that had increased to 39.1million!

So, more vehicles, less garages means it’s much more difficult, and in many cases impossible to run a successful garage today, unless you have a mini-market on the site, despite all the extra traffic, than there was in 1959 and even though it was 4/6d (22p) per gallon back then.

Anyone fancy buying a garage?

By Fuelcard Frank

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