The number of operational UK forecourts fell to 9,013 last year, according to the latest Retail Marketing Survey, conducted by the Energy Institute.


Petrol sales were also down to 16.29m tonnes, a fall of 383,000 tonnes compared to a year earlier. Diesel sales were down by 217,000 to 12.65m tonnes. These falls were despite registered UK vehicles reaching a new all-time high of 34.21m, with each forecourt supplying an average of 3,795 vehicles. And by the end of 2009, unleaded prices had averaged 99.86ppl (versus 107.46ppl in 2008); while diesel prices closed the year at an average price of 104.26ppl (versus 118.22ppl the year before).


The five largest oil company operations by number of branded forecourts were BP at 1,179, down 21 on the previous year; Texaco 999, down 62; Shell 930, down two; Esso 900, up 28; and Total 818, down 17.