Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Drive-off service recovers loss without police

John Wood ·

Only 5% of drive-offs had to be reported to police during a trial of a new loss recovery service by BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate.

During the year-long trial, involving several thousand drive-off incidents, BOSS pro-actively pursuing the registered keepers of vehicles reported as driving off without making payment for fuel.

Following receipt of a drive-off report from a forecourt retailer BOSS initiated its new recovery strategy and during the survey period it reported 77.9% of incidents were subsequently fully paid by the motorist, without referring the incident to the police.

During the 12-month trial BOSS estimates that the new initiative has saved 4,600 police officer hours.

Analysis of the reports also showed that two thirds of drive-off incidents are the result of a failure to pay in-store and only one third of drive-offs are the result of vehicles driving away from the pump without making any attempt to pay for the fuel.

Drive-off incidents cost forecourt retailers more than £20m a year and the trial has analysed drive-off incidents in two ways; first, drivers filling up, making no attempt to pay and then driving off; and second where drivers draw fuel, enter the store and then leave without paying for their fuel.

The BOSS survey found that 67.3% of incidents were recorded as a failure to pay in-store, while 32.7% of incidents involved a vehicle drawing fuel and driving off without making any attempt to pay.

Kevin Eastwood, executive director at BOSS, said: “There may be many reasons why drivers fail to pay for fuel, a mistake or deliberate action, but we’re finding police tend to treat in-store drive-offs as a civil offence and are therefore not treating these incidents as a crime, so take no action.

“What’s exciting about this new BOSS drive-off initiative is that it’s the industry taking control of reporting and recovering losses. During the trial only 5% of incidents have had to be reported to the police, which saves the police a huge amount of time. We’re planning to make the initiative available to police forces across the country so that both police and retailers can benefit.”

Keywords:

  • Weekly
    Retail
  • Weekly
    wholesale
  • Daily
    Average
Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 May 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East135.9360.77140.55130.16
East Midlands135.28141.26129.82
London135.21142.69130.48
North East134.06140.71129.20
North West134.87139.96129.27
Northern Ireland131.95135.90127.71
Scotland135.09139.31129.71
South East135.9463.57142.34130.70
South West135.01139.53129.65
Wales134.52138.23128.74
West Midlands134.83141.89129.64
Yorkshire & Humber134.1257.70141.27129.10

Most read

Following last month's London protests and damage to Shell's UK HQ, do you believe forecourts should be preparing themselves in case of possible attacks by climate change campaigners?