Petrol sales soar 85 per cent as motorists panic buy

Yesterday saw petrol up 85 per cent and diesel up 43 per cent as drivers rushed out to the pumps after a minister recommended stockpiling petrol at home.

The Petrol Retailers Association reported the dramatic increase in sales after Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude suggested motorists stock up on petrol filling any spare jerry cans.

Petrol prices also hit a new high yesterday reaching 140.70p per litre, diesel is also at a record 146.98 per litre.

Petrol stations are in danger of running dry, and the government has called in the military to prepare for a strike by tank drivers.

Strike dates have still not be announced by Unite and motoring groups have said ministers are creating a ‘self-fulfilling’ fuel shortage.

A spokesman for the Petrol Retailers Association said government advice was causing the problem.

He said: ‘This is exactly what we didn’t want – people panic buying. Deliveries are still being made to garages and we are advising people to continue with their normal buying habits.’

The AA said current fuel shortages were the result of bad advice and rumours leading to panic buying.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘There is no fuel tanker strike and therefore if drivers followed normal fuel buying patterns there would be no fuel shortage whatsoever. We now have self-inflicted shortages due to poor advice about topping up the tank and hoarding in jerry cans. This in turn has led to localised shortages, queues and some profiteering at the pumps.

‘Theoretically if 30million cars with half full tanks are advised to fill up over 24 hours, this means that 750million litres of fuel would be sold, whereas average sales over 24 hours would be 90million litres. So it is no surprise that the “top-up” advice has lead to shortages.’


Thinking of getting a new car? January is the best time to buy one.

Didn’t get what you wanted this Christmas? Well according to car specialist, Glass’s Guide, January is the best time to buy a car.

Fresh stock and quiet periods means that January, offers plenty of opportunities to snap up bargain deals as dealers are more eager to sell.

Slow sales mean that there are bargains available, as car prices may be slashed. Allowing potential buyers to haggle dealers for a reduction in price.

However the search for a cheap car can also depend on the model you are after. Glass’s Guide states that January is the best month to get your hands on a convertible for the summer.

Demand for flashy topless models are low in the winter which means savings are at their highest.

But drivers wanting to bag a bargain on a4x4 will struggle to do so. Following three consecutive snowy winters, the demand is high for snow proof vehicles.

Tips to bag a cheap car in January 

–       Always offer around 10 per cent or £1,000 less than the cars valued price. For example: If a car for sale was £6,000 offer £5,000. This opens the space for negotiation, it can be daunting but don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Car dealers are use to this and after all you’re only look to bag the best deal.

–       You are being sold the car by a salesman, so don’t act too interested. This means the salesman will feel more inclines to offer you a discount to keep you interested.

–       Do your research. Look at a reputable car valuation service like Glass’s Guide, to see how much the car should be valued at, and look at the full-run down on the car’s rating and performance. That way you won’t end up with an overpriced dud.

–       Ask about added extras, there’s no harm in asking. Ask about items such as upgrades, a car warranty, and MOT or whatever else you can get thrown in.

–       Make sure you know which car you want and your budget. Don’t be persuaded by salespeople to spend more than you can afford – or if you don’t like the deal, walk away. Make sure you budget for additional items such as car insurance as this can affect your budget.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh