Petrol pump sales decrease over five years, says AA

Car being filled up at a petrol station The AA said more people were driving diesel or smaller petrol vehicles

Related Stories

Forecourt sales of petrol have plunged by more than 20% in five years, the AA has said.

The motoring organisation said official government figures showed 17 billion litres were sold last year compared to 22 billion in 2007.

The AA said rising prices and greater use of smaller and diesel vehicles had contributed to the fall in consumption.

Combined with an increase in the sale of diesel, total vehicle fuel sales fell by 9% over the past five years.

The AA said the decrease was the equivalent of 35 days of business being lost since the start of the economic crisis.

Diesel sales increased from 14 billion litres in 2007 to 16 billion litres in 2012.

More recently, petrol sales decreased from 18.27 billion litres in 2011 to 17.42 billion litres last year.

'Huge toll'

Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson said: "It's amazing to think that just four years ago, in spring 2009, petrol was £1 a litre. For £20 you could get 20 litres. Today when you spend £20 at the forecourt you get less than 15 litres.

Promo for fuel price calculator

"In 2000, 10% of new cars were diesel. Last year, over 50% of new cars were diesel and with that kind of change, and motorists cutting back on discretionary spending we do see right across the UK petrol sales in steep decline."

AA president Edmund King said: "Greater take-up of diesel cars and smaller petrol vehicles has contributed to this overall decline in UK fuel sales over the long term.

"However, soaring pump prices have taken a huge toll on petrol sales more recently - during the 10p-a-litre price surges last March and October, pump sales of petrol fell by up to 5%."

"The trouble is that, with global economic recovery, the stock market will predict greater oil and fuel demand and push up commodity values accordingly.

He added: "Drivers' fuel consumption and retail survivability are already precarious. What will happen when the speculators pump themselves up with bullish sentiment and send prices soaring yet again?"

The AA highlighted figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    Every time I fill up my tank about £50 is taken as tax. It is not surprising that I try to keep my mileage down.

  • rate this

    Comment number 578.

    Does the AA need to be accused of being out of touch? Claiming that sales have slumped because "greater use of smaller and diesel vehicles had contributed to the fall in consumption" What utter rubbish. No, the fact remains people just haven't got the money to put petrol in their cars and are using other forms of transport or even getting rid of their car altogether or just topping up whenever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 464.

    Am I the only one to notice that Diesel used to be cheaper than Petrol but now is considerably more. The difference in mileage will soon be wiped out by the difference in price as petrol engines are becoming more efficient. With a mpg display its amazing how much you can save by driving between 65 and 70 on the motorway....

  • rate this

    Comment number 453.

    My mileage during the last 6 months: Driving 750, walking 400, cycling 4,000. Human-powered travel is healthy, fun, interesting, cheap and, in many cases, more convenient and less frustrating. Well worth considering if you are stuck in a car/public transport rut.

  • rate this

    Comment number 374.

    Many of us now work from home - I'm personally saving about £2,500 a year that I used to spend on petrol. And that's before you take into account the savings on time and car maintenance. Clearly not everyone can, but plenty of people who could still don't, and I'm baffled as to why.


Comments 5 of 18


More UK stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.