About 100 petrol filling stations across the UK have closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the PRA has revealed.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said it was hoped that all the closures were temporary, and that the shutdowns had been for a variety of reasons.
He said: “All petrol filling stations are trying very hard to remain open, but some are currently closed. For some this would be because volume has just completely dropped and they don’t have big shops sales, some will be for cash-flow reasons, and some will be for staff reasons.”
He said that the PRA had received reports from members of fuel volumes being down by 65-85%, but there was better news for shop sales.
“Many of those with convenience stores are doing better than usual with sales up by anything from 5% to 50% compared with their weekly average.”
Madderson said the PRA was still waiting for a response to its letter to the Chancellor seeking assistance with credit terms for dealers, but that oil companies appeared to be showing some restraint for dealers experiencing difficulties.
He said: “The oil companies are doing the best that they can, and where necessary are being more sensible about collecting their money.”
The PRA had called on the the Chancellor to lengthen the current tax deferment for refiners and importers of fuel, from six months nine months, and this would allow the companies supplying PRA members to give them three months credit.
Madderson noted that supermarkets already get up to three months credit, and the oil companies give themselves three month credit, but 70% of the forecourts across the UK who are PRA members – small or middle-sized often family businesses – have to pay by direct debit in one or two days.