• UK Drivers Have Stopped Buying Petrol, Despite Lower Prices


UK Drivers Have Stopped Buying Petrol, Despite Lower Prices

Jul 04 2020

Despite lower prices, new data from online car purchasing platform CarWow reveals British motorists are buying less petrol. Roughly one third of drivers haven’t purchased any petrol in the last month, with around 40% spending less than £10 at the bowser.

The data indicates a significant shift in purchasing behaviour prior to the lockdown, with around 30% of Brits spending more than £30 a month on petrol before the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 10% of motorists spent between £51 and £60 on petrol every month, with 7% exceeding the £101 mark. Since lockdown restrictions have come into place, just 1% of motorists spend more than £101 a month on petrol.

Nationwide travel warnings major driver

Specifically, motorists in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Newcastle are the biggest spenders, with around 20% of motorists in these cities spending at least £40 a month on petrol. Brighton, Plymouth, Nottingham and Southampton were identified as cities where motorists were more likely to have skipped the forecourt altogether.

CarWow consumer expert Vix Leyton says the travel warnings issued by the UK government are one of the major drivers behind the nationwide slump in petrol sales. “After more than two months in lockdown, the idea of a regular petrol station ‘top-up’ no doubt seems like a distant memory to the millions of British motorists who’ve not needed fuel – or perhaps even driven – for weeks.”

Moving forward, Leyton says now is the time to fill up the tank and take advantage of low petrol prices. “For those wanting to take advantage of the low petrol and diesel prices being highlighted on forecourts, now is arguably the time to do so – providing you can do so safely – before lockdown measures are eased even further and long queues begin forming outside supermarkets and stations across the UK.”

Warnings ‘peak oil’ has been and gone

For the oil industry as a whole, the outlook is uncertain. While some experts expect to see a swift recovery, others warn the peak in oil demand may have already come and gone. "It's not going to make oil more in demand. It's gotten more likely to have oil be less in demand," said BP CEO Bernard Looney in an interview with the Financial Times. “I don't think we know how this is going to play out. I certainly don't know," he was quoted as saying. "Could it be peak oil? Possibly. Possibly. I would not write that off.”

As the energy industry adjusts to the new normal, experts warn there could be turbulent times ahead for the oil and gas sectors. Find out more with ‘The Only Certainty is Uncertainty for Corona-Stricken Oil Industry’ featuring insight from analysts at Koehler Instrument Company.

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