Illustrating the impact that higher fuel prices can have on consumption, the International Energy Agency reported that motor fuel consumption had dropped as much as 20% in Britain. The fall in usage is greater than in other countries, in part due to larger hikes (20% versus 14% on the Continent) and the prevalence of mass transport (while American drivers often have no options save planning trips better and staying closer to home).
From the Telegraph:
Petrol retailers have disclosed that fuel sales dropped sharply over the past few weeks and the latest figures appear to show that demand for petrol in Britain has slumped by as much as 20 per cent over the past 12 months…
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, Eduardo Lopez, the IEA’s chief oil analyst, said: “British motorists are clearly driving less. “They are switching to public transport, which is much easier to do in Britain than in America, where people living in the suburbs often have to drive whether or not they want to.”…
The cost of filling up the average family car is now in excess of £60 and it can take almost £80 to fill the tank of many popular models….
In Britain and throughout much of Europe, fuel protests have been triggered by the sharp rise in petrol prices and governments are struggling to deal with the consequences of the boom in the oil market.
At the same time, however, the British Government is actually trying to increase motoring taxes.”