This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.

Legal insights & industry updates

| 1 minute read

Competition and Markets Authority to examine fuel market concerns

Following the publication of a review into competition within the road fuel market (published on 8 July 2022), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a further study that will examine the market in more depth, and make use of the CMA's "compulsory information gathering" powers.  

The CMA announcement follows on from Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng's earlier call for an "urgent review" into the fuel market, to determine whether a 5p fuel duty cut was being passed to drivers.  

Among other key findings, the CMA review revealed that: 

  • the fuel duty cut appears to have been implemented on the whole (albeit with different implementation speeds between fuel retailers); 
  • the main drivers of increased road fuel prices are (i) the rising cost of crude oil; and (ii) a gap between the crude oil price and the wholesale price (referred to as the "refining spread"); 
  • the refining spread tripled in the last year, increasing from 10p to almost 35p per litre; and     
  • there are significant differences in price between many rural and urban areas. 

Announcing the market study, the CMA recognised the significance of the concerns raised, and also the urgency of the situation.  The full market probe by the CMA may also include the UK government being asked to advise on possible measures to "increase transparency that consumers have over retail prices", with an overall view to improving outcomes for consumers. 

The CMA intends to publish an interim update on its findings during the autumn.  

A review of competition in the road fuel market has found cause for concern in the growing gap between the price of crude oil when it enters refineries, and the wholesale price when it leaves refineries as petrol or diesel.


competition, retail, transport