More cars on road but drivers buying less fuel

Drivers are buying less fuel despite the fact more cars are on the road, a new survey has revealed. Although there are more registered UK vehicles on the road than […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Drivers are buying less fuel despite the fact more cars are on the road, a new survey has revealed. Although there are more registered UK vehicles on the road than ever, total fuel sales dropped 6% since 2002.

Drivers bought a total of 35.35million tonnes of fuel in 2012, down from 35.61m tonnes in 2011. Petrol sales fell “marginally” to 13.42million tonnes by the end of 2012, down from 13.86m. Diesel totted up to 13.86m tonnes last year, down slightly from 13.91m tonnes the year before.

This could be down to average fuel prices nearly doubling in the last decade, rising from 73.68 pence per litre to 136.26 p/l for unleaded petrol, while diesel jumped from 75.57 p/l to 142.39 p/l.

The latest Retail Marketing Survey, conducted by the chartered body for global energy workers, the Energy Institute (EI) suggests the cutback in fuel sales is down to improvements in engine performance and fuel economy, on top of changes in driver behaviour.

BP, Shell, Esso and Texaco were the four largest oil companies with branded forecourts, with Texaco the only one of the four which had a drop in the petrol stations it owned between 2012 and 2011.