Incidents of unpaid fuel have increased by 22% during the first week of June 2022 when compared to May, according to the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS).
BOSS is urging forecourt operators to encourage forecourt staff to look out for unusual behaviour and be extra vigilant during peak periods. Operators should also ensure that they retain accurate information about vehicles involved in driving away from a forecourt without paying for fuel or motorists claiming to have no means of payment for fuel.
Claire Nichol, executive director of BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, said: “We have received a 22% increase in reports of motorists not paying for fuel during the first full week of June. Reported incidents have been rising steadily by around 5% each month, but this month there has been a noticeable increase.
“Motorists claiming to have no means of payment account for 70% of incidents which re-emphasises a shift away from Drive-Off incidents.
“Average fuel prices have risen by 19% since January 2022 and there is no doubt that there is a link between rising fuel prices and increased incidents of forecourt fuel crime.”
BOSS collates reports of No Means of Payment and Drive Off incidents from information supplied to BOSS Payment Watch, the specialist forecourt fuel loss recovery service.
During the first quarter of 2022, the Forecourt Crime Index from BOSS revealed that incidents of unpaid fuel had increased by 14.6% and that fuel prices had risen by 10.5%.
Forecourt fuel crime falls into two categories. Motorists either Drive-Off without attempting to pay for fuel or drivers claim to have No Means of Payment, they agree to pay but subsequently, fail to return and pay.
Motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment is the biggest challenge facing forecourt operators and accounts for two-thirds of all forecourt fuel crime. Fuel crime can cost an average forecourt outlet more than £10,000 in lost revenue every year.