Total fuel sales in the UK saw a marginal 0.6% increase from 35.21 million tonnes in 2012 to reach 35.42 million tonnes in 2013, with diesel sales out-performing petrol for the third year running, according to the Retail Marketing Survey conducted by the Energy Institute.

Retail petrol sales fell to 12.57 million tonnes during 2013 – down from 13.25 million in 2012, while retail diesel sales totalled 14.83 million tonnes in 2013 – up from 13.96 million tonnes the year earlier.

Over the same period the total number of cars on the road rose 1.4% to 35.21 million, with each forecourt supplying an average of 4,089 vehicles.

Meanwhile unleaded petrol prices averaged 134.88 ppl in 2013 versus 136.22 ppl in 2012 and diesel prices closed the year at an average price of 140.74 ppl versus 142.39 ppl in 2012.

Thus, says the Institute, it would seem that although more fuel was sold, this was driven more by rising vehicle sales than by lower fuel prices, and that motorists have remained cautious regarding pump prices.