Road fuel sales at filling stations are still almost 40% below their pre-lockdown levels despite a gradual easing of the lockdown, according to the latest government figures.


The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s research shows that road fuel sales were at 61% of their typical values in the week ending May 31.

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.

Since then average sales have climbed steadily, and the May 31 figure was up 7.5% on the previous week.

For the 10 weeks from March 23 average road fuel sales were 7,900 litres per filling station. This is 45% of the average levels in the eight weeks prior to March 23.

The report used petrol and diesel sales figures from 4,500 filling stations, out of the 8,375 petrol stations in Great Britain. The study covered the period from 1 February to 31 May.

Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder of car insurance comparison site, said: “The lockdown has caused financial difficulties for a lot of people in the UK, but one area where many have been able to save a bit of cash is their transport costs. This new research reveals that the average amount motorists spent on fuel in April was 63% lower than in February, and an average of 45% less during the course of the lockdown.

“With a typical British household spending an average of £25 on fuel during a normal week, that means households are likely to have saved an average of £112 on fuel during the lockdown, although people with longer commutes may well have saved as much as £400 or £500.

“Of course, fuel isn’t the only expense drivers have been able to save a bit of cash on during the pandemic. Some motorists have also applied for a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN), which means they will have saved money on their car insurance and road tax as well.

“And it’s also worth mentioning that some car insurance companies are willing to reduce motorists’ premiums to reflect the lower mileage they’ve been doing whilst working from home, so it’s worth speaking to your insurance provider about that if you haven’t done so already.”