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

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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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    465. Major_Tom
    Vehicle tax for bikes - You may find bicycles, with a up to 100g per km CO2 emission, are zero rated.

    But it's not the car that's rated - it's the engine. On a bike you are the engine. And your CO2 is considerably more than 0.

  • rate this

    Comment number 470.

    Definitely good for the environment as a whole, though it should be noted that diesel is rather more polluting than petrol, due to more particulate matter in exhausts. Recessions work well for the environment, but economic growth it is tied to consumer demand and lots of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    If demand for fuel has dropped how can the oil companies continue to charge more for diesel on the basis of lack of refinery capacity which has been their justification in the past?

  • rate this

    Comment number 468.

    The selfishness of the anti-car lobby is once again apparent in some of the comments below. These people seem to think that because it is possible or not unduly expensive or inconvenient for them to not use cars, the same must be true for everyone in the country. Even if this were true, which it isn't, just 1% of the driving population switching to public transport tomorrow would cause chaos.

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    Well the government got what it asked for with less car use, but is it really what they wanted? I doubt it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 466.


    ." In response to your comments as a cyclist I already pay road tax it is called council tax, income tax and general taxation"

    And in your car free cycling utopia does it occur that the tax coffers might be a little lighter without motorists and the lycra clad inhabitants of dingly dell might have to cough up substantially more in general taxation?

  • rate this

    Comment number 465.

    Vehicle tax for bikes - You may find bicycles, with a up to 100g per km CO2 emission, are zero rated.

  • 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 463.

    How much of this fall is people being more careful, how much is the parlous state of the economy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    6. plebianbob
    3 Hours ago
    Most (as in all) journeys by car can be done by public transport, walking or cycling.

    Well in that case, please find me a way to do my 26 mile commute to work from Brackley to Chipping Norton by public transport. I start work at 8am.

    Thank you in advance, you fool.

  • rate this

    Comment number 461.

    this article will be music to the ears of the "mother Earth" brigade, with their face piercings, dreadlocks and multicoloured crocheted shawls, sandals etc. but for those of us that dwell in reality where we need to commute, visit spread out family members or make a living based around driving, this is just another taunt from the left who are sadly winning and taking us all back to the cave age.

  • rate this

    Comment number 460.

    Work pays for my fuel, so I'm not really fussed...

  • rate this

    Comment number 459.

    My old car gave up the ghost and I'm not replacing it. I now get the train to work and walk a lot more and feel better for it. It's inconvenient sometimes but I'm saving money, getting fitter and going 'green'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 458.

    Fred, what you call cycle tax you pay (council tax), we all pay and its not the same as direct road tax.
    I tell you what I'm a cyclist and finding competitive cyclist more of a danger then motorist on lanes and pavements,they don't even have a bell to warn you,just jump out the way if you are quick enough,worse for the poor dog that nearly gets run over!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 457.

    @Fred Bloggs

    By Large City, I assume you mean London as every other city in the UK large or otherwise has terrible expensive public transport. This is highlighted by the fact that London has many times more public money spent on public transport per head of population than any other place in the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 456.

    The perfect illustration of how hoplessly schizophrenic our society has become.

    We KNOW we need to use less fossil fuels, for the small matter of the health of the planet and the sake of future generations. When we DO use less (regardless of the reason) it's a bad thing.

    We're governed by people and systems that are utterly incapable of standing for our genuine best interests. Hilarious

  • rate this

    Comment number 455.

    Great news - but still a long way to go till we have a system that's even vaguely sustainable.

    If folk want their children to have personal transport at all in 20 years time, they need to be cutting right back now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 454.

    Aside from the better fuel consumption, another reason for getting a diesel was that the emissions were lower and resultantly £100 less car tax.

  • 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 452.

    "In response to your comments as a cyclist I already pay road tax it is called council tax, income tax and general taxation. What you refer to as car tax was abolished in the 1940's if you check your facts it is called Vehicle excise tax. "

    Car drivers also pay those taxes as well as vehicle taxes on each vehicle they own. Bicycles are vehicles so it is only fair that cyclists pay the same tax.


Page 11 of 34


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