UK petrol sales hit record low in March 2014

Petrol sales in the UK slipped to their lowest level on record in March this year, even as pump prices were at a three-year low, the month was relatively warmer, and the economy was showing clear signs of recovery.

Citing government figures, AA PetrolWatch reported that UK drivers purchased 1.367 billion litres of petrol during the month of March 2014. It was the lowest figure on the UK government's record, though the month under review was not the coldest March. In March 2013, which was the coldest March for the past five decades, petrol sales had reached 1.376 billion litres.

Apart from being a much warmer month, average price of petrol in March was at around the 130p a litre. In comparison, average petrol price in March 2013 was at around 140p per litre.

Commenting on the data, AA President Edmund King said, "Petrol sales have hit their lowest on record when pump prices were at a three-year low, the weather was relatively warm . economy was showing signs of recovery. This was not the freezing, miserable, 140p-a-litre March of the year before."

In the first three months of this year, demand for petrol slipped 24.7 per cent from the corresponding period of 2008.

Diesel sales increased to 2.230 billion litres in March this year, from 2.109 billion litres in the same month of the previous year. But in the first three month, diesel sales increased 5 per cent from the corresponding period of 2008. Considering a 40 per cent increase in diesel-powered vehicles, it was an insignificant rise in demand for the fuel.

Petrol and diesel prices jumped 4 cents per litre during April. While average petrol price ended April at $2.18 a litre for 91 octanes, average diesel price reached $1.50 a litre at most service stations across the country. However, AA has predicted that fuel companies will soon cut prices to boost sales.