These findings support the view of the Petrol Retailers Association which has reported the closure of more than 150 filling stations during last year. The AA has also looked at the issue and says: “We know there are some areas of the UK where supply no longer exists at a local level meaning there’s a real risk of some drivers running out.”
There are now fewer than 9,500 filling stations in the UK, including supermarkets, which is said to be the lowest number since 1912. A hundred years ago the car ownership was still a relative rarity. Today there are close to 30 million cars on Britain’s roads.
Motorpoint managing director David Shelton said: “The reason we do these surveys is to highlight issues of concern to our customers and to give them a chance to comment. This is a complex issue that affects the full spread of our customer base – people from both urban and rural communities all over the country. On the one hand, fuel price competition is good for motorists but if it’s driving smaller independent filling stations out of business in some areas, more and more people are going to be forced to buy fuel from the supermarkets who may then feel able to push prices up.”