The owner of a 127-year-old gas station says he can’t afford to fill up on his fuel

Ross Molloy, who runs RGM Brailsford Garage, says he’s struggling to stay afloat amid soaring fuel prices because he’s unable to buy in large enough quantities to keep up

Ross Molloy standing outside the RGM Brailsford garage in Derbyshire
Ross Molloy standing outside the RGM Brailsford garage in Derbyshire

The owner of a 127-year-old gas station says he can’t fill up at his own pumps now because of rising fuel prices.

Ross Molloy runs RGM Brailsford Garage, the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire, where fuel has been flowing since 1895.

The skyrocketing fuel prices have made business very difficult for independent, local petrol stations, Leeds Live reports.

He acknowledged that while some establishments may raise prices to increase profits, for the majority the increase is required simply to break even.

Ross said: “People blame the retailer, as do I. You say you raise the price, you collect. I’ve made about 3p a liter profit on diesel and Esso is selling it cheaper than I can buy.

Ross says he’s been forced to raise his prices


Derbyshire Live/BPM)

“I usually sell about 10p more than Esso. I have to put it up because it comes to me at a great cost. I almost gave it away to be honest and that’s why there aren’t many small workshops left.”

Ross says higher prices are being driven by his diesel supplier, who prefers him to buy larger quantities of fuel, a practice he says benefits big buyers.

“I can’t buy large quantities because modern fuels don’t last. Diesel lasts two or three months and then it starts to fizzle out in the tank,” he said.

“The amount I sell if I bought 5,000 liters of what they want from me would be in the tanks for months before I sell them. I can’t buy a large amount because it doesn’t keep. I have to buy a smaller amount, which is more expensive, and I hardly sell any of it.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p fuel tax cut on Wednesday.

Although this is the biggest fuel tax cut ever, car associations like the RAC believe it won’t make much of a difference for drivers as fuel prices soar.

Ross said: “Anything is better than nothing, but the amount of tax we pay on fuel is going to be just a drop in the bucket, to be honest.

“Yes, it cancels out the price hike, but not by much. It doesn’t make much difference to people like me if the Chancellor takes 5p off.”

Unfortunately, a vehicle drove into the garage’s diesel pumps over the Christmas period and these still need to be repaired.

But even before the accident, Ross could not afford his own diesel. Now that prices continue to rise, Ross is unsure if the pumps are worth fixing.

The veteran gas station owner says he can’t afford his own fuel


Derbyshire Live/BPM)

He said: “Right now I’m debating whether it’s even worth getting it repaired for the amount of money I’m making from it. It annoys me because this is the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire – this place started selling fuel in 1895 and although I don’t do anything with the fuel I wouldn’t want to be the last to sell fuel at the oldest petrol station in Derbyshire.”

Earlier this week, a petrol station in Chelsea, west London, was spotted selling petrol at £2.35 a liter – around 70p more than the national average.

Following Sunak’s announcement, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons announced they were cutting the cost of their petrol.

UK drivers now pay an average of £1.67 a liter for unleaded petrol and £1.79 a liter for diesel.

On Wednesday, RAC policy chief Nicholas Lyes warned that Chancellor Merkel’s decision to cut fuel taxes would only help consumers if retailers passed on the savings.

“There is also a very real risk that retailers could absorb some or all of the tariff reduction themselves by not lowering their prices,” he said.

“If that turns out to be the case, it will be bad for drivers. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected either, given that the biggest retailers didn’t cut their prices late last year when oil prices fell sharply.”

Price changes at the pump are linked to the price of crude oil and the dollar exchange rate.

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