== January ==

As the New Year got under way, forecourts were still ’hot stuff’, with one property agent describing the market as "on fire".

However the cost of forecourt crime showed a significant increase - up to £28.9m - with drive-offs representing 82% of the industry’s losses.

== February ==

MPs caused significant consternation in the network by suggesting that retailers should drop their forecourt prices to match the decline in oil prices. Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers’ Association denounced their proposals as "ill-informed garbage".

== March ==

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds called on the government to cancel plans to introduce biofuels - due on April 15 - for fear they may actually cause more pollution than fossil fuels, and threatened the survival of many species.

== April ==

An open meeting of the Car Wash Campaign Group, held at the annual International Forecourt and Fuel Equipment Exhibition, urged retailers to learn more about how to stamp out unregulated car washes. Malthurst (UK) again topped the Top 50 Indies listing, while Karen Dickens, Esso’s executive director for fuels marketing, was guest speaker at the Top Indies dinner.

== May ==

BP shook its dealer network to the core by announcing Premia increases - which amounted to a significant margin cut - by email, and giving one month’s notice.

== June ==

The European Petroleum Industry Association launched a campaign to advise motorists how to drive more efficiently - it was backed by 40 oil companies.

== July ==

Fuel card company Arval agreed to review its charges following the uproar by retailers in the wake of soaring fuel prices. And four out of five Scottish forecourts were in danger of losing their alcohol licences under new legislation.

== August ==

Gloomy predictions of a further cull in the number of forecourts were echoing around the industry as high fuel prices in particular, and the credit crunch in general, hit fuel sales.

== September ==

BP prepared to sever all ties with fuel card company Arval due to soaring costs. The announcement was a huge blow to dealers concerned about a further loss of forecourt business.

== October ==

An unprecedented show of strength and unity by BP dealers forced the oil company’s hand and talks with Arval were resumed. The PRA’s Ray Holloway said it showed what retailers were capable of doing if they used their collective power.

== November ==

Dealers were left between a rock and a hard place following the sudden drop in fuel prices which led to many of them cutting their losses on fuel paid for before the fall. Some also felt they had no-one to publicly defend them.

== December ==

The VAT and duty changes outlined in the pre-Budget Report were condemned as a complete "waste of time" that would cause more cost and hassle to retailers without bringing any benefits.