While the number of forecourts in the UK remained almost static during 2013, the number of dealer sites in the UK has increased for the first time since Experian Catalist began monitoring the figures in 2000.

In its report for the end of 2013 it says the overall total was 8.613, compared with 8,608 at the end of 2012. But the total for dealer sites increased from 5,125 to 5,339 over the same period.

Hypermarket sites also increased, from 1,306 to 1,347. Company owned sites declined from 2,177 to 1,927 reflecting the policy of some oil companies such as Esso to divest sites.