The UK Fuel Shortage and Gas Price Crisis

It seems that the fuel shortage issue in the UK is easing, as petrol prices hit their highest numbers in eight years.

The last few weeks in the United Kingdom have been absolutely wild.

A shortage of HGV drivers here, and across Europe, has meant that many petrol stations around the country ran out of fuel, and hundreds of thousands of people feared they may not be able to fill up their vehicles.

This led to mass hysteria throughout the nation, with people queuing for fuel for hundreds of yards around the block and people panic-buying even when they had full tanks. 

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We even saw shameful scenes in the media of full-blown fights happening between consumers at stations, and people filling up plastic bags and bottles in an attempt to hoard petrol in case they ran out.

At the time Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the shortages were a result of a 'giant waking up' of the economy and had even brought in the armed forces to help deliver and police the fuel in certain areas.

Fuel crisis easing

London and the southeast had seen the biggest number of petrol stations closed due to a lack of fuel, however, it seems that the shortages have eased somewhat as more have been restocked and will continue to be prioritised in the coming days.

Retailers had reported that the use of military personnel had helped in easing some of the strain, but more was required to get them back to normal levels from a few weeks back.

That comes as the PM revealed that only 127 visas for tanker drivers from Europe had been accepted after a plea went out to other nations across the channel that we needed an influx of HGV drivers.

Petrol price hikes

Not only that, but petrol prices have hit an eight-year high after the demand dramatically increased in the past two weeks. This was also a result of rising crude oil prices. 

It's meant retailers have hiked their prices as they were over-compensating for expenses such as the cost to import the fuel and overtime to staff members required to ease the demand.


Automotive industry issues

Not only has the fuel industry been stretched to the limit, but the automotive industry has also suffered from UK car sales falling to their lowest level for any September since 1998.

Even during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, this September proved less successful for dealers for 23 years.

Electric vehicles the answer?

The lack of fuel shortage has also seen many people start to consider their future options with regard to what their next car is going to be.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, with electric vehicles and hybrids being the only permitted type of car to buy.

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So we could see a surge of new electric vehicles on the road in the very near future, as some people are concerned this fuel crisis is just the beginning of a cycle of fuel shortages and inflated prices.

What we can be sure of, though, is that the hysteria has significantly reduced from what it was this time last week and hopefully the industry can get back on its feet and operate as normal.


Why was there a shortage of fuel in the UK in 2021?

In 2021, there was panic buying of fuel combined with supply chain issues caused by the media and the HGV driver shortage led to many petrol stations running out of fuel.