Sales of petrol slump because nobody can afford to drive
Baby You Can Drive My Car, sang the Beatles, but they wouldn’t have been so free and easy with the unleaded these days. In fact, it seems that we’re all keeping our cars chained to the driveway thanks to soaring petrol prices.
Sales of petrol are at a 23 year low, possibly because going for Sunday drive is more expensive than a box at the opera. 1.37 billion litres was sold at UK forecourts last month, which is a drop of a staggering 56 million litres compared to February, when the prices went up by 2p a litre.
Sainsburys, Tesco and are offering Petrol Sales at the pumps, taking that all important 2p off and reducing it from £1.36 to £1.34. But even so, the price of petrol is still over the odds for most people.
The industry blames the sky high prices on the cost of oil, obviously, but Luke Bodset of the AA blames the price rises on speculators who bet on the movement of petrol prices.
‘It’s a completely daft situation. Europe has got more petrol than anyone knows what to do with but petrol is still unaffordable for many drivers. People just can’t afford these prices. Our research shows two thirds of people are using their cars less or cutting back elsewhere to compensate for higher prices.’
But the Office of Fair Trading has ruled out an enquiry into petrol pricing, saying that there's little evidence that companies are ripping customers off.
In the meantime, it seems like most of us are hanging up our Magic Trees and going for a walk instead.