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

Clearing the air

After hordes of headlines suggesting owners of diesel cars were about to be clobbered with huge pollution charges, there were fears that the surge in demand for diesel would suddenly shudder into reverse, but new proposals from the government have eased some of the anxiety at least temporarily.

Diesel dilemma

Diesel has grown to dominate the road fuels market in the UK, driven by government tax incentives for car drivers. In 2001, with the government seeking to reduce CO2 emissions, the greater efficiency of diesel engines compared with petrol made it the obvious choice, and tax rates were adjusted accordingly.

Building growth

The seemingly inexorable rise in the number of sites run by the Top 50 Indies continued last year, but the increase of 99 to 2,222 is much lower than the 300-plus increases of the two previous years.

Tapping into key trends

The internet has now been widely available for so long that many consumers have grown up with it, and as it continues to develop and affect more areas of everyone's lives it is helping to shape trends in shopper behaviour in the convenience sector. HIM Research & Consulting has been studying these developments in consumer activity and has identified three key trends which could influence future behaviour of shoppers at forecourt shops: the casual connoisseur, the modern mindset; and fast consumption.

Investing in growth

Many dealers continued adding to their estates in 2016, driving up demand, and therefore the value of sites fuelling continued optimism and investment in the fuel retailing sector.

Risks of reform

A House of Lords Select Committee is currently interviewing witnesses as it considers making proposals to reform the licensing laws. Any recommendations will not be binding on the Government, but are likely to be persuasive, and could impact on petrol retailers.

Drive to boost hydrogen sites

The government is consulting on plans to force larger service stations, supermarket forecourts and motorway service areas (MSAs) to provide hydrogen refuelling facilities and charging points for electric vehicles.

Rates rollercoaster

As this issue of Forecourt Trader went to press the Government had just published the headline figures on the results of its revaluation of business rates, and forecourt owners were waiting to see how their bills in April 2017 were likely to be affected. It reported that rateable values in the retail sector were set to increase by an average of 4.7%, although this was heavily influenced by a 26.2% increase in rateable values in London, with most regions in England and Wales seeing a decrease. There is also due to be a reduction of 1.7p from 49.7p in the standard rates multiplier.

Feeding growth

Food-to-go in the UK offers significant opportunities for growth, according to the latest figures from IGD, which has unveiled new research into the market for the very first time. Driven by changing shopper lifestyles, IGD is anticipating the market to be worth £16.1bn in 2016, up by 6.8% from 2015.

The fight goes on

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has successfully appealed to the Upper Tribunal Chamber (UTC) against the decision in the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) that HMRC's decision to refuse Brobot Petroleum an excise duty Deferment Account Number was unreasonable.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 25 May 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East112.28121.59106.87
East Midlands111.76123.12106.54
London113.47124.97108.20
North East110.34125.25104.79
North West111.33119.82106.56
Northern Ireland108.52111.40102.55
Scotland110.64121.62105.63
South East113.2059.90124.27108.35
South West111.83124.12106.47
Wales110.29113.90104.94
West Midlands112.13125.12106.81
Yorkshire & Humber111.6957.70121.80105.92

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