By Daniel Hunter

In the last 10 years, average fuel prices have almost doubled, rising from 73.68 p/l to 136.26 p/l for unleaded petrol, and 75.57 p/l to 142.39 p/l for diesel.

The latest Retail Marketing Survey, conducted by the Energy Institute (EI), shows there are more registered UK vehicles on the road than ever before, yet total fuel sales have dropped by 6% since 2002.

A cutback in fuel sales suggests improvements in engine performance and fuel economy, combined with changes in driver behaviour. This is supported by diesel sales out-performing petrol for the second year running,

The number of forecourts in the UK stood at 8,693* sites at the close of 2012. This is compared to 1967’s all-time high of 39,958 forecourts. [It should be noted that this figure does NOT represent an increase on last year’s figure of 8,480 sites as a major reorganisation of the market occurred during the reporting period (the acquisition of the Total retail network and fuel distribution business by Rontec and subsequent sale of a number of sites to Shell, GB Oils and others) leading to some undercounting for the year 2011.]

The Retail Marketing Survey, published with the EI’s April issue of Petroleum Review, provides a comprehensive, statistical overview of the UK forecourt market. Data is broken down by company, region and forecourt facilities. The survey is based on statistics relating to end-2012 and does not reflect changes since that date. The figures are cross-checked with numbers from market analyst Experian Catalist.

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