Last year property agent Christie & Co sold and advised on more forecourt transactions than ever before - and it reports that this trend has continued in the first half of 2007.

Director and head of retail, Tony Evans, said that in addition to the traditional fuel retailer, there had been a significant rise in the number of new and independent retailers keen to gain a foothold in the petrol sector. Also active were the supermarket chains.

"As the appetite among the corporate operators remains constant and fuels demand for quality sites, prices are expected to be driven ever higher," he said.