Monthly petrol sales fell 10% in March to the lowest recorded figure of 1.31bn litres, following 4% growth in February when drivers took advantage of prices 22ppl lower than the year before, according to the latest figures released by HMRC.
Sales of diesel also dropped by 7% from the February figures to 2.26bn litres making for a combined 8% dip in fuel sales in March with 3.57bn litres. While not as low January (3.48bn litres) it is the next lowest figure recorded since January 2014 when just 3.49bn litres were used by drivers.
During March petrol prices increased 3ppl, but were still on average 18ppl cheaper than March 2014. However, petrol sales in March were 4% down compared to the same month last year, while diesel, which went up by nearly 2ppl, was only down 1%.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Fuel usage statistics from February clearly demonstrated increased vehicle use from both petrol and diesel drivers, but these figures show this has been reversed.
“March is traditionally one of the lowest months of the year for petrol consumption, as a result of families using their cars less ahead of greater use in the Easter holidays. This March, however, has seen the lowest petrol sales in 25 years, no doubt driven by rising pump prices. Diesel sales are, of course, always buoyed by the fact lorries, vans, buses and many company cars are fuelled by it.”