Average fuel sales have bounced back up to around the level immediately before the second lockdown in England as restrictions have been eased in some areas, but they are still only about 85% of sales prior to the first lockdown in March.

However, the latest weekly figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the whole of the Great Britain show that while there was an increase of 10% in England for the week to Sunday December 6, compared with the previous week, there was an increase of just 1% in Scotland and Wales, where different restrictions apply.

For the whole of Great Britain for the week ending Sunday 6 December 2020 average sales were at 85% of a typical week before the lockdown in March.

This was up 8.7% compared with the previous week. Average diesel sales were at 89% and petrol sales were 80% of a typical week before lockdown, with average daily sales per filling station of 9,250 litres of diesel and 5,820 litres of petrol, giving a daily total of 15,070 litres.

In the eight weeks prior to the lockdown on March 23 average daily sales were 17,690 litres per filling station, with a peak of 20,983 on Friday February 28. After the lockdown they fell rapidly bottoming out at 2,522 litres on Sunday April 12.

From this point they climbed steadily reaching 92% of pre-lockdown levels by the end of September.

The figures from BEIS are based on end of the day snapshots of petrol and diesel sales and stock levels from a sample of around 4,500 filling stations across Great Britain.

However, the fuel volumes are collected primarily from oil companies, supermarkets and very large independent filling stations, and this results in higher daily average figures than if all independent volumes were included.