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Fall in sales of petrol and diesel

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Petrol sales at service stations in the UK dropped by 835 million litres, or 15.2%, while diesel sales were down 247 million litres, or 6%, during the first quarter of this year, compared with the corresponding period in 2008, according to new figures released by the AA.

Austerity measures and soaring fuel costs led to the drop in the amount of petrol and diesel bought by motorists in the country during the first three months of the year, compared with the pre-credit crunch January-March 2008 period, the AA said.

There was a 7.94p a litre rise in petrol prices during the January-March 2011 period, while diesel values were up 10.51p a litre.

As families struggle with fuel prices, finding the best available car insurance deal can help to keep motoring costs down.

The Treasury lost over £637 million in tax in January to March 2011 due to the sales decline, according to the AA.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: "The first three months of this year saw the equivalent of 13.5 days of UK petrol sales wiped out - good for the environment but appalling for families, business, rural communities and the Treasury."

© Press Association 2011