It pays to shop around for fuel before you Shell out

SUFFOLK: They are less than 15 miles apart but, for motorists feeling the pinch of soaring petrol costs, that small distance could make all the difference.

The Shell garage on the A12 just north of Woodbridge is currently charging 120.9p a litre for unleaded fuel and 121.9p for diesel. But travel less than 15 miles to the A14 and motorists could find themselves making a small saving.

The Shell garage on the westbound stretch to the Felixstowe side of the Orwell Bridge is charging 118.9p for unleaded petrol and 120.9p for diesel.

Brian Madderson, chairman of RMI Petrol, the association for independent retailers, said the variation in price could be down to a number of reasons.

He said one site could be owned by Shell while the other could be owned by an independent retailer.

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“Even if the site is independently owned, they have to buy off the oil companies so will have a brand sign on the forecourt,” he said. “They can’t buy as competitively from an oil company as an oil company can from itself. Therefore the Shell-owned site is likely to have lower prices.

“Alternatively they could be both Shell owned. Oil companies have regional variations in the prices based on how far they are from the distribution terminal.

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“Similarly, if they are both independent, one site may have got a better supply deal than the other.”

A spokeswoman for Shell said it was committed to maintaining competitively priced fuel and on average had the lowest pump prices among the major oil brands.

n Opinion – page 6

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