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Filling stations record slump in fuel sales as lockdown home working cuts out work commute


By Ian Duncan

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Working from home could become the new norm as fuel sales at filling stations across the UK are down by almost a quarter when compared with pre-lockdown levels.

According to new figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s latest data reveals daily diesel sales are still 20 per cent down than before the Covid-19 lockdown, while petrol sales are 26 per cent lower than would be expected.

While pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, outdoor gyms, museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, community centres and libraries are now allowed to open, this new road fuel sales data suggests many people are still cautious.

Average sales per filling station have only gradually increased since mid-April and in the week ending July 5 were up just 3.2 per cent compared to the previous week.

Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “As the lockdown begins to ease we’ve been expecting to see the level of road use across Great Britain start to climb back up – especially with reduced use of public transport, but this newly published data shows that we’re still quite a long way off pre-lockdown levels."

He said it was likely we would see road use gradually increase a little more in the weeks ahead and added: "However, the very modest 3.2 per cent week-on-week rise in fuel sales suggests many motorists are still cautious, in which case it might be the autumn or later before the traffic on Britain’s roads is back to pre-lockdown levels – particularly since government guidance still states that anyone who is able to work from home should continue to do so for the time being.

“While this obviously isn’t good news for petrol station owners, there is a financial upside for office workers who plan to continue working from home, because it means they could continue to save an average of £108 per month on road fuel during that time."

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