The price of fuel on the forecourt might not be nearly as important as many people think. That’s one of the findings

from the new 2020 Vision report on forecourts from brand consultancy Circle.


This states that a recent survey found that 70% of customers questioned after paying for fuel did not know how much they had paid for it.


The 2020 Vision report outlines how it sees the forecourt sector in the next decade. Apparently, the future of forecourts is green, with offers of alternative energy, higher levels of service and the fuel pumps tucked away round the back of the shop.


Circle chairman and petrol retail expert, Robert Onion, said: "Alternative fuels will creep into use as soon as they are viable in the West, although developing markets such as India and China will remain heavy users of oil. Ultimately, however, oil will become so costly that it will be priced out of the market."


Onion added that alternative fuels will have an effect on where and when people fill up. And given that vehicles will run on a mix of fuels, retailers will need to devise new strategies to use their land. He predicted that traditional oil companies will either divest completely or devise new economic models for their sites, such as renting space to a range of energy suppliers and leisure retailers.


Onion described the filling stations of the future as: "Modern, clean, architecturally engaging, integrating environmental technologies and ultimately great places to be. They’ll consign distress to the distant past and replace it with genuine enjoyment."