Tesco has been asked to review its petrol pricing policy in Northern Ireland after Sainsbury’s followed Asda’s lead by pricing fuel at the same rate across each of its forecourts in the province.

Eleanor Gill, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland singled out Tesco for criticism.

“Tesco now stands out as the one supermarket petrol retailer which continues to charge their customers different prices depending on where they live,” Gill said. “We believe that this is an unacceptable and unfair practice and would ask Tesco once more to reconsider their local pricing policy.”

Gill welcomed “Sainsbury’s recent move to provide the same price to all their customers” although the supermarket said the move was not permanent, suggesting that prices could be adjusted locally in Northern Ireland in the future.

Sainsbury’s added that there were no plans to change its local pricing policy on fuel in England, Scotland or Wales.

A Tesco spokesman said there were no plans to change its policy: “We have 11 filling stations in Northern Ireland and all of them are competitive in their locality. As with many petrol retailers, we operate a local pricing policy and there are no plans to change.”

The spokesman said supermarkets comprised a small minority of petrol stations in Northern Ireland and said there were competing stations near Tesco stores that were 10p more expensive a litre without the added benefit of Clubcard.