Petrol pumpPeter Byrne/PA Wire

A cut-down on car travel during the summer Olympics period contributed to a reduction in petrol purchasing in the first nine months of the year.

The equivalent of five days of petrol consumption was lost during the Olympics, according to AA analysis of Government figures.


Sales were down around 5.6% for the July-September period compared with the same time last year.

Overall, petrol sales in the first nine months of this year were down 4.6% to 13.11 billion litres.
But diesel sales for the same period were up 2.1% to 12.22 billion litres.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters said: "For once, the drain in fuel sales wasn't solely down to record pump prices forcing hard-up UK families to cut back on car use.

"From the end of July to the beginning of September, drivers had a joyful reason to reduce their fuel consumption."

He went on: "Unfortunately, it was the lull before the storm. Through September, stock market speculators made the most of two refinery fires in the Americas and refinery maintenance schedules elsewhere to drive the wholesale price of petrol 10p a litre above the summer low, before it crashed back down in October."

The AA said that latest figures showed the average price of petrol in the UK is 131.99p a litre, with diesel at 139.80p.

© 2012 Press Association