Petrol sales fall as prices soar


The AA group has said that in the last 5 years petrol sales have nose-dived with 5.4 billion fewer litres sold. In 2007 fuel forecourts sold a total of 22.87 billion litres of petrol, in comparison with 17.43 billion litres in 2012, a huge fall of 20% over the period.


Overall, total sales of both petrol and diesel fell over the period by 9.3% to 34.16 billion litres in 2012.


Whilst there was an increase in sales of diesel from 14.8 billion litres in 2007 to 16.73 billion litres in 2012.


Petrol prices have increased dramatically over the 5 year period - in 2007 petrol was 97.3 pence per litre, the average in 2012 was 136.85 pence per litre an increase of nearly 40 pence per litre.

In 2007 for £20 you could get 22.85 litres of fuel, in comparison in 2012 you would receive less than 15 litres of fuel.


Could this be down to motorists who are now opting for a diesel alternative when buying a new car? In 2000 only 10% of new cars were diesel, in comparison to 2012 when over 50% of new cars were diesel.


Although for the last few couple of years diesel cars have out-sold petrol cars (which would account for the AA figures), the SMMT show that the UK is beginning to rediscover the love of petrol cars. Petrol cars have outsold diesel models for the last 3 months - last month petrol cars had a 51.2% share of the market. 


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?"


But this news doesn’t appear to be affecting our love of the motor car. These findings come as industry statistics show that new car registrations have again increased, up by 5.9% in March - the thirteenth consecutive month in a row.


Does the fall in petrol sales come down to that people cannot afford it? Or does it come down to the improvement in car efficiency? 

CarsandGarages has found that there has been a small increase in fuel efficiency figures  information between 2007-2012, we found that in 2007 a Ford Fiesta Zetec hatchback 3dr was able to provide 47.1 MPG, where as the 2012 version was able to provide 49.6MPG. Would this increase have such large impact on Petrol sales?




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