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Morrisons becomes first to axe fuel prices below £1 per litre in ‘more reflective’ costs

Petrol prices have fallen to just 99.7p per liter across the firm’s UK forecourts as a way to thank those battling the coronavirus pandemic. Morrisons have also promised diesel costs will fall with prices no more than 104.7p per litre across the company’s petrol stations.

The cost reduction has also been introduced to help those travelling to work in a bid to play their part in reducing the cost of living. 

Head of fuel at Morrisons, Ashley Myers said: “To say thank you to all key workers and other motorists making essential journeys, we’re cutting the price of unleaded to 99.7p per litre and diesel to 104.7p per litre from tomorrow morning.

“We want to play our full part in reducing the cost of living and feeding the nation at this difficult time.”

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Traditionally a sudden decrease by one firm sparks a frantic price war with rival companies who will often match prices for fear of losing customers.

READ MORE: Fuel reductions may be stopped by ‘greedy’ fuel suppliers

Petrol prices have fallen to under £1 per litre (Image: Getty)

There is hope the massive savings could spread to other companies which would lead to average costs fall dramatically across the whole nation. 

AA Fuel spokesperson Luke Bosdet said drivers were hopeful the changes would “break the logjam” of pump prices across the UK. 

Mr Bosdet said: ““Drivers can only hope that Morrisons price move this morning will now break the logjam on pump prices. 

“At least, essential workers will no longer feel penalised for having to drive to protect people and keep the country running during the lockdown.”

The RAC praised Morrisons for reducing costs to a “fair price” which was “much more reflective” of what the retailer itself was paying to supply the fuel.

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RAC fuel spokesperson, Simon Wiliams said it was unclear how long prices would stay at their current lows.

He warned there were some early indications that wholesale prices may be starting to rise as wholesale costs begin to slowly increase.

Mr Williams added: “Unfortunately though there is a darker side to any large price cuts – they heap yet more pressure on smaller independent fuel retailers, who in some cases are already fighting for survival as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.”

The AA stemmed fears that cheaper fuel prices could lead to a surge of motorists making non-essential journeys.

Lockdown restrictions are set to be slightly lifted on Wednesday to allow “unlimited” outdoor exercise and the use of a car to visit outdoor spaces.

Forecourts have been targeted by campaigners for failing to pass over wholesale oil reductions to motorists since the outbreak began.

Some campaigners such as Fair Fuel have previously claimed costs were up to 20p per litre too high in some areas as wholesalers profiteered from the crisis.

Experts at the AA have claimed the higher costs seen before reductions were made was “questionable”.

Mr Bosdet said: “The AA understands that lower fuel sales, and worries that slashing pump prices during lockdown might encourage people to make non-essential trips, had pressured fuel retailers to keep the cost of petrol and diesel higher than normal.

“However, there was evidence that this didn’t always ring true, with a 10p-a-litre mark-up on average pump prices questionable and average fuel costs in predominantly rural areas significantly lower than in heavily populated parts.

“Rural fuel stations often provide a community service with their shops and people living there understand the need for them to charge more, so to find overall prices lower than in the South East was an eye-opener.”

UK fuel prices have dramatically fallen since the end of January as the coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on global oil demand.

Government data shows petrol costs have fallen for fourteen consecutive weeks with coast dropping from 127.3p per litre 107.56p.

Diesel costs have fallen from 132.88p per litre during the last week of January to 114.94p per litre in a massive 18p reduction.

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