Cash squeeze on drivers sends petrol sales sliding

 
Kasmira Jefford
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DRIVERS hit by high fuel prices have cut their petrol consumption by more than 15 per cent since the credit crunch, the Automobile Association said yesterday.

The AA said petrol sales dropped by five per cent – or 517m litres – in the first half of the year compared with a year earlier, depriving the Treasury of nearly £1bn of duty.

The cost of petrol peaked in May at 137.43p a litre and diesel touched 143.04p as the political crises in the Middle East and Africa threatened oil supplies.

Edmund King, the AA’s president, said: “[T]oo many car owners cannot afford these record prices and are losing mobility as a consequence.”

The AA said supermarkets coped better with record pump prices, with petrol sales up 0.4 per cent and diesel up 11.8 per cent from April to June.