Over 25,500 drivers claim they have committed ‘pump-and-run’

Motorists in the West Midlands committed 4,027 fuel theft offences in 2015


According to a study carried out by insurance comparison website Confused.com, a whopping 25,560 motorists failed to pay for fuel following a fill-up at a British petrol station in 2015.

Fuel bilking is on the rise across the UK as petrol and diesel prices creep ever higher.

Confused.com collated figures from police forces across the country which were available under the Freedom of Information act.

Fuel thefts over 25,000 in 2015

More than 25,500 fuel thefts (accidental and intentional) were reported in 2015


The figures suggest that 74% of the 25,560 motorists who drove away from a petrol forecourt without paying for fuel did so unintentionally as they either forgot or became distracted by other things. Only 52% of these scatterbrained motorists chose to return to pay for the fuel.

A staggering 12% admitted purposefully driving off without paying for fuel. Many of these did so because they simply had no way of paying for the refuelling.

The police force area with the most reported fuel bilking offences in 2015 was in the West Midlands, where 4,027 incidents took place. This is followed by West Yorkshire with a total of 3,835 fuel bilking offences and Thames Valley where 3,300 motorists fled without paying.

Amanda Stretton, editor at Confused.com, commented on the issue: “It’s quite worrying to find out how many people across the UK have filled up their vehicle and driven off without paying for their fuel. And it’s even more shocking to see that some motorists intentionally commit petrol theft.”

Police contacted 20% of the 25,560 bilking motorists and informed them they must return to pay for their fuel. A further 16% were handed a fine for the offence, while 9% were charged with the criminal offence of theft.

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