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Maximising value

Forecourt Trader's 2014 Fuel Market Review reports that an historic tipping point has been reached, with the first increase in the number of forecourts recorded since the '60s, and a significant upturn in the number of dealer sites, and this change is being reflected by a surge of interest in forecourt properties.

A missed opportunity?

The 'Review of the Refining and Fuel Import Sectors in the UK' by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has come at a crucial time for the sector, but many in the industry feel it has done little to point the way forward.

The price has to be right

With Esso now accepting Tesco Clubcards and BP having offered Nectar points for many years, the loyalty card is a growing influence on where drivers are choosing to re-fuel their cars, and a strong influence on whether they also take the opportunity to top-up on their groceries, according to Blake Gladman, senior research manager at shopper research specialist HIM.

Fighting the floods

Disruption caused by winter weather is not unexpected in the forecourt sector, but what has made this winter different is the type of bad weather and the length it has gone on for. A day or two of snow can block roads, and the authorities are usually able to get traffic moving again fairly swiftly, but when it rains until there are floods, and then rains a lot more, it may take weeks before an affected business is able to get up and running again.

Tasty prospect

A significant new retail entrant to the forecourt sector could make its presence felt in 2014, according to Steve Rodell, director and head of retail at specialist property adviser Christie & Co. "They have significant capital funding and could buy a national chain if they are able to find the right deal," he confirmed.

Duty deferment: A sense of duty

As you may now be aware, there is a scheme for retailers to buy oil under duty-deferred terms from suppliers' terminals. Using the 'standard' deferment scheme, the price of the oil is invoiced by the supplier but without the duty and VAT being charged to the retailer. Instead, the duty and VAT is deferred separately against the retailer's deferment account. The taxes are subject to an average four weeks' deferment (credit) from HMRC.

Regeneration Forum: Sticking points

The problems with planning, business rates, excise duty and card payments were spelt out in no uncertain terms as key concerns of the fuel retailing sector at the recent Regeneration Forum hosted by the Petrol Retailers' Association, and organised in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

BOSS: Payback time

BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has welcomed confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it has issued new guidance to lawyers and police forces to prosecute motorists who repeatedly claim to have no-means-of-payment (NMoP).

Time for feedback

A new study looking at the attitudes of fuel customers and why they choose particular brands, has underlined the growing dominance of the supermarkets. Customer intelligence specialist Market Force Information, surveyed more than 1,500 consumers across the UK in an effort to understand the choices made when purchasing fuel.

Reports hit the flaw

The findings of January's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report on the UK road fuel market have been seriously undermined by the revised market share figures for supermarkets released by the government (see panel). They show that the supermarkets have a far higher share of the UK road fuels market than was previously admitted.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 January 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East133.4167.40141.10128.52
East Midlands132.93141.67128.44
London133.0565.90142.23128.80
North East131.55139.57126.67
North West132.1066.90140.54127.58
Northern Ireland129.82134.61125.46
Scotland132.65139.08127.50
South East133.80141.93129.03
South West132.9567.90139.13128.12
Wales132.1064.90137.03127.13
West Midlands132.7866.57142.07128.26
Yorkshire & Humber131.9963.90141.14127.34

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