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The AA have described how new government figures have revealed that 1.7 billion fewer litres of petrol and diesel have been sold at petrol stations in 2011 as opposed to three years ago in 2008, the year the country went into recession.
However, with petrol prices remaining at an astronomical high, it’s no wonder that sales have fallen, with motorists having to fork out an average of 133.13p per litre during the first quarter of this year, compared with 116.68p in 2010 and 109p in 2008.
With prices of petrol currently the highest they have ever been, many motorists have been forced to cut back on driving and only use their cars for essential trips. More people are choosing to use public transport in an effort to save cash and also to help force petrol prices down.
According to the AA motoring company, the drop in petrol consumption between January and June 2011 equaled 517.2 million litres of petrol which deprived the Treasury of £985 million in fuel duty.
The drop in petrol sales rapidly increased throughout the six month period with sales dropping from 3.9 per cent between January and March, to a much larger 6.6 per cent in the second quarter, when petrol hit a peak price of 137.43p per litre, with diesel costing as much as 143.04p.
The AA has also revealed that supermarket forecourts have fared better than any other, with non-supermarket retailers witnessing a huge 11.8 per cent drop in petrol sales as opposed to supermarkets who saw a 0.4 per cent increase thanks to greater competition on price.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “There is no downplaying the impact of record fuel prices on family and other people’s lives.”
He went on to comment that car owners could not afford record forecourt prices and were “losing mobility as a consequence”
Brent crude in London has dropped below the 100 US dollar-a-barrel mark for the first time since August 9, but the AA has suggested that a dip in petrol prices has still failed to match the fall in wholesale prices.