Fuel spending hit record levels in one day during petrol crisis as energy spending also up

Cars queueing at forecourts last month. Credit: PA

Drivers' spending on fuel in one day hit record numbers last month, as it more than doubled compared to the same day two years ago.

Lloyds Bank debit card users spent the highest amount on fuel on September 24 since records began in April 2014.

The daily spend was more than double (125% more) than figures on the same day in 2019, before falling again the day after.

Across the past two weeks, people spent a fifth (20%) more at petrol stations, compared with the two weeks before, analysis of the bank's customer debit cards show.

Fuel and household energy spending rises a fifth in a fortnight – Lloyds Bank Credit: PA

Increased spending came after BP and Tesco said they closed some petrol stations due to problems with fuel delivery caused by a shortage of lorry drivers.

However, there are signs that demand for fuel is easing.

Week-on-week spending by Lloyds bank users across the UK has fallen by almost a third (31%), with the number of transactions down a fifth (20%).

How did spending compare across the country?

Only three regions - London, South East England and East of England - saw drops of less than 30%.

In London, spending on fuel fell just 20%, the lowest of any region. In the South East, it fell by 21% and in the East of England, it fell by 25%.

In the past two weeks, the East Midlands had the biggest increase in fuel spending, compared with the two weeks before. Spending was up 24%.

This was followed by the West Midlands (23%) and the South East (22%).

Wales and Scotland had the lowest increases, at 14% and 15% respectively, followed by London and the South West on 19%.

Wholesale gas prices are surging in the UK Credit: Pexels/Gary Barnes

But the amount spend on household energy continues to increase.

In the past two weeks, spending increased 24% as the weather turns colder and as energy prices soar in the UK.

Spending on energy is 14% higher than the same two weeks in 2020, Lloyds Bank figures show.

Rising wholesale gas prices are putting pressure on suppliers, with several folding since the start of September. Pure Planet and Colorado are the latest energy suppliers cease trading.

Philip Robinson, payments and fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, said: “After an initial incredible spike in late September where spending on fuel was the highest we’ve ever seen it, over the past week card payments at petrol stations have fallen, particularly in Northern and Western parts of the UK.

“However, household energy spend continues to increase, 13% in the last week alone, driven by rising prices and colder months.

“With this in mind, now is a very good time to sit down and reflect on your personal finances ahead of Christmas 2021.

“Budget effectively and give yourself a clear idea of what you can afford this festive season.”