'Most independent forecourts make between two and four pence a litre - meaning a full tank only nets the petrol station between £1 and £2 profit.' BBC News - High cost of petrol defended as oil price falls Petrol companies complain that they make virtually no money retailing Petrol, but rely on the shops to make the money. Seems obvious, and there have been investigations which have accepted this (or been drowned by paperwork one wonders). So why are they still retailing the profit? Is it because they load the costs on the retail stage, and make, judging by their annual profits a nice earner on the refinery stage. Am I wrong to be wondering if its all smoke and mirrors?