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Hard work and adaptability are continuing to pay off for the fuel retailing sector, according to Forecourt Trader’s latest Fuel Market Review.

The comprehensive annual report reveals considerable resilience in the forecourt retailing sector, with the loss of just 26 sites in the past year during a period of intense pressures, according to the latest data from Experian Ltd. 

In recent times big issues such as Covid, war in Ukraine, as well as rising inflation and energy costs have served to intensify the normal competitive pressures and trends as well as the bigger headache – the looming transition to electric vehicles and Net Zero.

The report reveals that there are currently 8,354 fuel retailing outlets across the UK, with independent dealers continuing to dominate the market by ownership, accounting for 5,326 sites, compared to the hypermarket sector owning 1,507 and oil companies the remaining 1,521 sites.

In terms of fuel brand, Esso has overtaken BP with its pole signs on 1,219 sites compared to BP’s 1,171, followed by Shell with 1,160. And Esso is dealers’ choice with 1,019 dealer sites offering the fuel followed by BP on 849 sites then Texaco on 735 sites.

However, when it comes to sales, Tesco remains the biggest fuel retailer with a 15.5% market share achieved from its 512 sites. Shell has the second biggest market share, followed by BP then Esso.

The report also includes ZapMap’s latest data, which shows 43,626 EV chargers across 25,413 locations in the UK but only 346 fuel retailing sites.

Meanwhile, the number of sites with car washing and valeting facilities is down slightly from 5,364 last year to 5,325 this year.

On the convenience side of the business – where many forecourts really shine – Londis has overtaken Spar with 1,155 branded stores on forecourts versus Spar’s 1,085. However Spar outranks Londis in terms of sales with 16.1% market share compared to Londis’ 12.6%.

Forecourt Trader’s annual Fuel Market Review features a report, including comprehensive tables, on the UK fuel retailing market, compiled using data supplied by Experian Ltd. It also includes a listing, in site number order, of the main fuel suppliers and distributors in the petrol retailing market, as well as the key supermarket players. The information includes contact details and information about each company’s network structure, and is compiled from questionnaires completed by the relevant companies.

To download the full report click here.