Asda is UK’s most expensive supermarket fuel retailer, analysis suggests

Asda has become the UK’s most expensive supermarket fuel retailer, according to new analysis.

Rival companies Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s sold a litre of petrol for an average of 2.1p less than Asda at the end of May, the RAC said.

The difference in average diesel prices was even steeper, at 2.5p per litre.

The RAC said that for many years Asda “prided itself on selling the cheapest fuel”, often being the first supermarket to cut pump prices.

The supermarket was taken over by the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital in 2021.

When Asda bought the UK and Irish operations of petrol station giant EG Group – owned by the Issa brothers – in May last year, Mohsin Issa said the deal would enable him to offer “Asda’s highly competitive fuel” to more customers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report in July last year stating that Asda’s target fuel margin – the difference between what it paid for fuel and the pump price – was three times higher for 2023 compared with 2019.

But in January, TDR Capital managing director Gary Lindsay told the Commons’ Business and Trade Committee that Asda did not have “a particular strategy to bump the price of fuel or to make a larger profit on fuel”.

The RAC analysis found that across all UK forecourts, the average price of petrol fell by 2.4p per litre last month to 147.9.

Diesel prices dipped by 4.5p per litre to 153.6p.

RAC senior policy officer Rod Dennis said pump prices should be falling much faster to reflect a decline in wholesale costs.

He said: “A month of decreasing fuel prices should be seen as a good one for drivers but the sheer time it is taking for any meaningful price reductions to reach forecourts is if anything a continuing cause of concern.

“When it comes to much-needed pump price cuts, it’s sadly a case of too little too leisurely, with most drivers still getting a miserable deal every time they fill up.

“We’re once again in classic ‘rocket and feather’ territory, with pump prices only trickling down when they should really be falling like a stone.

“It’s also interesting to see that Asda no longer holds the crown for selling the cheapest fuel despite the pledge made when it was subject to a merger a year ago.

“The other three major supermarkets, as well as some enterprising independents, now offer lower prices.”

Asda said it uses a different pricing strategy at its supermarket and “convenience” forecourts.

A spokesperson said: “Asda was the price leader in the supermarket fuel sector in May and we remain focused on providing our customers with the best value at the pumps as we grow in the convenience sector.

“In May, we reduced the price of unleaded and diesel by a combined average of 2.31p per litre and also announced that we are trialling earn on fuel on the Asda Rewards app, where users can get 0.5% of their fuel spend back in their Asda Rewards Cashpot.”