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European body requests fuel pump prices investigation

By: Elizabeth Smythe
31 May 2011

Motorists might finally get some answers about the way fuel is priced in the UK, if a motoring body gets its way.

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has written to the European Union to request an investigation into fuel pricing, driver recruitment companies may be interested to learn.

According to BBC News, the FIA, which represents 35 million drivers across Europe, believes the "way petrol prices are currently set [is] far from transparent."

The rising price of fuel has been well documented over the last few years, with the average tank of petrol costing £10 more than a decade ago. However, the price of crude oil has dropped over the last few months and this reduction has not been reflected at the pumps.

While dollar exchange rates, taxes and transportation costs impact on the price, the FIA does not think the method used to price petrol in Europe is effective.

Currently, the majority of petrol prices are determined from Rotterdam, a key trading spot where some fuel cargoes are bought and sold. However, the FIA argued that this market is not entirely relevant to the rest of the continent.

Chairman of the FIA Eurocouncil, Werner Krauss, confirmed in The Telegraph: "The fact that pump prices essentially depend on guideline prices of the Rotterdam spot market for finished products is a cause of particular concern."

"A platform with such a small volume is doubted to be a representative indicator for the vast European market." 

The AA and RAC, whose members are represented by the FIA, have lent their support to the cause.

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