Petrol sales slump
Motorists have had enough of buying fuel at astronomical prices, new figures would suggest.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change's latest statistics show sales of petrol and diesel sales have slumped.

Almost 500 million fewer litres of petrol were sold between April and June than in the same period last year.

And in the first half of this year, more than two billion fewer litres of petrol and diesel were sold compared to the same period in 2008.

To put that into perspective, between January and June 2008, retail sales of petrol and diesel reached 18.97 billion litres. This year the figure was 16.7 billion litres.

There is speculation that the plunge in sales has cost the Treasury £1.3bn.

The spring 2012 fall followed a near-120 million litre rise in petrol sales thanks to the panic buying epidemic which spread across the UK last March.

AA president, Edmund King, said: "A 10.6 per cent fall in petrol sales this past quarter is a huge drop.

"A fall of 2.27 billion litres in UK fuel sales over the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2008 has got to bring some sense of reality to the fuel market and the Government.

"However, we have seen the fuel industry trying to squeeze more money out of shrinking customer demand, as was the case when wholesale diesel was cheaper than petrol in early spring but drivers and businesses were forced to pay 5p a litre more.

"Price transparency is the way forward: to ensure and show drivers that they are getting a fair deal at the pump."