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 1.

    Better Engines= Less petrol sold = Less Profit = Price Rise

    Better Boilers = Less gas sold = Less Profit = Price Rise

    Better Bulbs = Less electricity sold = Less Profit = Price Rise

    I think I’ve spotted a pattern here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    no6 Plebianbob
    You're talking absolute garbbage.
    We can't get anywhere by bus or train and cycling 25 miles to work is stupid. You clearly live in a fantasy world - or more likely in London which is the ONLY place in the UK with an integrated public transport system.
    So the other 59 million of us should start walking or cycling then??
    Grow up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    #10 - Ziggyphan - " Supply and demand, if people buy less, then companies need to charge more - it's not rocket science!"

    My understanding of Supply and Demand (from my O'level economics) is that in a free market, if people buy less and supply remains unchanged, price needs to go down so people buy more unless supply is reduced.

    Perhaps we are not in a free market :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Several years ago I used to take my young family on day trips to Loch Lommand and the surrounding area on a regular basis.The cost of fuel has made these trips far less frequent, with the knock on effect that the local businesses no longer receive my custom when there. I am sure I am not the only person to have to cut back like this.
    No wonder small businesses are struggling,

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    The markets work on supply & according to the current world economic climate, demand has plunged worldwide, so if that's the case why has the price of oil not dropped significantly.....well in my opinion it's a clear indication that oil prices are being manipulated and kept high in order to keep revenue flowing into government treasuries around the world.


Comments 5 of 671


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