REMEMBER October 1973? Probably not. What about 2000? Ah, yes, now you do. I’m talking about queuing to fill up for fuel and how it’s become a fact of daily life again. Well, with pump prices what they are at the moment, it seems to me that people are buying smaller quantities of fuel more regularly in order to avoid the heartbreak of topping up an empty tank and that sinking feeling of handing over upwards of £100 for the privilege of a few hundred miles of further motivation.
It’s the only reason I can think of for the sheer length of queues that we’re faced with on petrol station forecourts these days.
Surely though more regular topping-up of our tanks shouldn’t cause so many queues? Well, I did a little research yesterday – I enquired why so many pumps are switched-off these days and the response from a selection Forecourt Managers was interesting: diesel supplies are low and distribution is being carefully controlled. Diesel stocks, apparently, have been fairly low in this country for some time – although you’re not likely to hear that on the news for fear of it sparking another bout of panic buying from drivers, who have been jumpy about fuel supplies since the blockades in 2000.
There’s also a bit of a supermarket price war going on – in my area Tesco and Morrisons have dropped about 5p per litre from the price of petrol and diesel and drivers have been clamouring to fill up with £1.15/£1.26 fuel so that’s also skewed demand and supply.
I’m not sure what advice to give – wait and carry on as normal in the hope that everything turns out okay or keep that car topped-up at all times, thereby exacerbating the situation. Probably the former for me – but I can understand anyone who feels the need to insure as well as they can against future immobility…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.