The volume of petrol sold at UK pumps declined by almost 14% between 2007 and 2010, new figures have shown.
A report by car insurance provider AA highlighted Government figures which found that the amount of petrol bought dipped by 13.95% from more than 16.80 million tonnes in 2007 to just over 14.46 million tonnes last year.
The fall is equivalent to nearly 3.19 billion litres, or the average amount of petrol consumed in the UK in 52 days.
Motorists in the UK who are cutting back on their petrol consumption and thereby driving fewer miles a year may see their car insurance premiums go down.
Edmund King, president, AA, said: "On the face of it, it looks like the UK driver is hitting back against record petrol prices by buying considerably less of it, perhaps by buying more fuel-efficient cars, adapting the way they drive and rationalising their journeys.
"Unfortunately, the reality is that many poorer motorists can't afford to pay for petrol and are increasingly leaving their cars idle."
He added: "The drop in fuel sales puts a squeeze on retailers and fuel suppliers, who face the dilemma that increasing prices to compensate for lower sales volumes simply pushes more drivers into road fuel poverty."
According to the report, the volume of diesel sales saw an increase of 6.85% from 12.34 million tonnes in 2007 to 13.19 million tonnes in 2010.
© Press Association 2011