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Petrol and diesel consumption was almost back to pre-Covid levels in May and June despite the high prices at the pumps.

Latest figures from HMRC reveal that consumption of petrol in May and June this year was just 0.3% less than in May/June 2019 (2,875million litres versus 2,885million litres) and diesel consumption was just 0.5% down on the 2019 figures (4,974million litres versus 5,000 million litres).

But while prices remain high, it seems motorists have been adopting smarter driving practices. The AA surveyed over 15,000 of its members last month and found that many had changed their driving habits in a bid to cut costs.

While 23% of respondents to the survey said they had been unaffected by the high fuel prices, 31% said they had adopted fuel-saving techniques while 29% said they were planning their journeys more by combining errands into one trip. However, just 2% of those surveyed said they had replaced using the car with cycling or walking.

A spokesperson from the AA told Forecourt Trader that lessons learned from the techniques used to save fuel during the fuel supply problems and queues, between last September and this April, were definitely paying off now.

“One would think that high prices would have reduced fuel demand, but they haven’t,” he said, adding that compared with the 7.6% reduction in gasoline demand in the US something ‘very different’ was going on in the UK.