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Fuel stations could close, especially in rural areas

Date: 01 April 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

Fuel forecourts are likely to close as a result of low demand during the coronavirus crisis, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) warns.

Demand for fuel is very low at the moment, particularly in rural areas. As such, those stations are likely to be the first to close, as their businesses become unviable.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, commented: "To help freight move and help key workers travel safely and independently through this period of crisis, petrol filling stations (PFS) must remain open, but this is proving to be a challenge for many filling stations."

According to this weekend's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) survey, petrol sales were down by 75% and diesel by 71%.

The global price of crude oil has collapsed in recent weeks, which is partly reflected in prices at the pump. The RAC puts average petrol and diesel prices at 114 and 118 pence per litre. Many independent rural stations may have bought fuel before prices started to fall, but are now forced to sell it at the current, low prices, making the financial impact even greater.