Car owners appear to have a more relaxed attitude to car use and fuel purchasing than they did in July 2008, when fuel prices were at their peak, according to a consumer survey by research company Key Note. Comparing the results of its latest survey which

took place in November 2009 with previous research, the results revealed evidence to indicate that motorists had become more inclined simply to fill up their car where it was most convenient for them, rather than shopping around for cheaper fuel prices.

However, there’s no denying the high fuel prices have lead to many consumers and businesses cutting down on non-essential mileage. But the continuing high fuel prices will mitigate lower consumer usage to some degree, contributing to retail sales within the motor fuel sector being predicted to grow by between 2.7% and 4.1% per year over the forecast period, to reach £37.51bn by 2013.

Meanwhile, the growth pattern for non-fuel sales through forecourts is likely to mirror the performance of the grocery sector in general, particularly now that the steep fall in numbers of forecourt outlets is less of a factor. Key Note predicts that non-fuel sales will grow by between 1.7% and 2.4% year-on-year between 2010 and 2013, when the value of this sector is forecast to stand at £4.91bn.

In total, the forecourt retailing market is expected to be worth £42.42bn by 2013, up from £38.78bn in 2010.