Ross Molloy, who runs RGM Brailsford Garage, says he is struggling to stay afloat amid the rising fuel prices as he’s unable to buy in large enough quantity to compete
The owner of a 127-year-old petrol station says he isn’t able to fill up from his own pumps now due to fuel price rises.
Ross Molloy runs RGM Brailsford Garage, the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire where the fuel has been flowing since 1895.
Rocketing fuel prices have made business very difficult for independent, local fuel stations, Leeds Live reported.
I have acknowledged that although some facilities may be marking up their prices to increase their profits, for the majority the hike is needed to simply break even.
Ross said: “People blame the retailer, like me. They are saying you are putting up the price, you are cashing in. I’ve been making about 3p a liter profit on diesel and Esso down the road are selling it cheaper than I can buy it for.
“I usually sell for around 10p more than Esso. I have to put it up because it comes to me at a high price. I’ve almost been giving it away to be honest, and that’s why there aren’t many small garages left .”
Ross says higher prices are being driven by his diesel supplier preferring him to buy larger quantities of fuels, a practice he says benefits big buyers.
“I can’t buy large amounts because modern fuels don’t keep. Diesel keeps for two or three months and then it is starting to go off in a tank,” he said.
“The amount I sell, if I bought 5,000 litres, which is what they want me to buy, it would be in the tanks for months before I sold it. I can’t buy a large amount because it won’t keep, so I have to buy a smaller amount which is more expensive and I am hardly selling any of it.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p fuel duty cut on Wednesday.
Although this is the biggest ever cut to fuel duty, motoring groups like RAC believe this won’t make a big difference to motorists given the rocketing rise in fuel prices.
Ross said: “Anything is better than nothing, but the amount of tax we pay on fuel, to be honest it’s just going to be a drop in the ocean.
“Yes it cancels the rise in price, but not by a lot. For the likes of me, if the Chancellor knocks 5p off, it isn’t going to make much of a difference.”
Unfortunately, over the Christmas period a vehicle drove into the diesel pumps at the garage and they are yet to be repaired.
But even before the accident, Ross was unable to afford his own diesel. Now, with the prices soaring further, Ross is unsure whether it is worth fixing the pumps.
He said: “At the moment I am weighing up whether it is even worth getting them repaired for the amount I make out of it. It upsets me because this is the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire – 1895 is when this place started selling fuel and although I don’t make anything out of the fuel, I don’t want to be the last person to sell fuel at the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire.”
Earlier this week a petrol station in Chelsea, west London was spotted selling petrol for £2.35 a liter – around 70p more than the national average.
After Sunak’s announcement Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons announced that they would be lowering the cost of their petrol.
UK motorists are now being forced to pay an average of £1.67 a liter for unleaded and £1.79 a liter for diesel.
On Wednesday RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes warned that the Chancellor’s decision to cut fuel duty would only help consumers if retailers passed on the savings.
“There’s also a very real risk retailers could just absorb some or all of the duty cut themselves by not lowering their prices,” he said.
“If this proves to be the case it will be dire for drivers. It also wouldn’t be totally unexpected based on the biggest retailers not reducing their prices late last year when the oil price fell sharply.”
Changes in prices at the pump are linked to the price of crude oil and the dollar exchange rate.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.