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Fuel sales fall

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Official figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have shown petrol sales have fallen for this year.

At the beginning of the year between the months of January - March petrol sales reversed a long term fall, up to 119.8 million litres compared to the same months for 2011. Reasoning behind the reversal was the tanker driver dispute that lasted for weeks and prompted motorists to panic buy, leaving pumps empty. However during April - June there was a decline of 496.8 million litres compared to the previous year. This was reported as the worst fall in sales for the second quarter since 2008.

The statistics show that overall two billion fewer litres of petrol and diesel were sold on forecourts for the first three months of the year.

Over the years fuel sales have slowly started to decline due to the on-going increase in prices which have forced motorists to choose their journeys carefully. A survey earlier this year found what motorists worry about the most when it comes to their vehicle.

Motorists who were surveyed were asked questions regarding the cost of running and maintaining a vehicle. 60% said their biggest worry was fuel costs and changed the way they drive to limit the amount of fuel that was used. 63% said they had to cut back on car usage and 45% chose to walk instead of using their vehicle.

Edmund King, the AA’s president commented on the latest figures: “A 10.6% fall in petrol sales this past quarter is a huge drop.

“Whilst we welcome the fact that new cars have become more fuel efficient, this goes nowhere near to accounting for the crash in demand over the past three months and the past five years.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge