Pumping prices: The fuel price questions I want answering

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The Office of Fair Trading launched a review into fuel prices in September and will deliver its results today. Photo: Press Association

Motorists live in dread of the forecourt, pump prices are rising yet again. The wholesale cost has risen almost seven per cent since Christmas alone. Now they want answers.

Why do prices rise rapidly with wholesale changes - yet fall slowly?

Are the oil firms making excessive profits in a market that is not open to scrutiny?

How can drivers be sure in future that they are paying a fair price - especially when they see the huge profits of the petrol giants.

Is there evidence of predatory and/or collusive behaviour amounting to lack of real competition in this market?

Is there a LIBOR-style scandal in the petrol Market?

We now know that buried within the banking industry insiders were able to 'fix' the level at which customers were charged across a large number of products set using the LIBOR rate.

It seems to me a possibility that the same could happen within the oil industry, where prices are often set by intermediaries' communication with traders to set benchmark prices.

How does this mechanism operate and is it fair and transparent?

What has been going on for the past 23 years since the Monopolies Commission last investigated the UK fuel market?

It seems crazy that highly paid officials at the Commission have not reported on this important matter for so very long.

Staggeringly, neither has the Office of Fair Trading held a market probe since 1998.

Back then the was concern that prices had hit 10.4p a litre (minus tax).