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Car ownership on the rise in the North
22 November, 2013

Car ownership has increased in the north, but declined in the south according to new data from British Car Auctions following a survey of 4,000 motorists. The BCA Used Car Market Report reveals regional trends in car ownership as families tackle on-going financial pressures.

Regeneration Forum: Sticking points
04 December, 2013

The problems with planning, business rates, excise duty and card payments were spelt out in no uncertain terms as key concerns of the fuel retailing sector at the recent Regeneration Forum hosted by the Petrol Retailers' Association, and organised in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Fuel prices - November 28, 2013
04 December, 2013


Duty deferment: A sense of duty
04 December, 2013

As you may now be aware, there is a scheme for retailers to buy oil under duty-deferred terms from suppliers' terminals. Using the 'standard' deferment scheme, the price of the oil is invoiced by the supplier but without the duty and VAT being charged to the retailer. Instead, the duty and VAT is deferred separately against the retailer's deferment account. The taxes are subject to an average four weeks' deferment (credit) from HMRC.

Shop Doctor: In the surgery this month - B&M Harland, Malton Rd, Pickering, North Yorkshire
04 December, 2013


Pickering, just south of the North Yorkshire moors, is probably equidistant between Whitby, York, Thirsk and Scarborough. My target is the B&M Harland service station, because it is the first to sell Spar-branded fuels.

Money Talk: 'Tis the season to be wary
04 December, 2013

The scam email problem is so common that it's almost become a cliché. You receive an email from some individual in a far-flung country, offering a sizeable chunk of their 'lottery winnings'. All you need to do is give them a bit of help to get the money into the UK, and to do so, they just need your bank details. It's an oldie-but-goodie, although that doesn't stop the scammers from trying variations on it even now. But some more recent attempts have been a bit more subtle, and not so immediately recognisable for what they are.

Service Centre: Jac Roper writes about a computer catch-up; a worrying scam; and Christmas cheer
04 December, 2013

Are you up to speed on technology?

I must congratulate Tony Barlow, who runs the Mount Service Station in Shrewsbury, for employing such an observant cashier named Robert Fox. Robert works for Tony during the week and for another business, called Claremont News, on a Sunday. On Tony's urging, Robert sent me an email entitled 'Torex/Micros Iridium vs Supernews anomaly' as both businesses use Torex epos systems.

Out of touch?
04 December, 2013

Drivers visiting the Shell forecourts in Hinchley Wood, London and Virginia Water, Surrey, can give their cars a treat a touchless wash. Machines supplied and maintained by two key UK suppliers, WashTec and Wilcomatic, have been installed and the results and customer feedback will be carefully monitored.

Creme of the crop
04 December, 2013

Christmas is still a few weeks away yet canny retailers are already thinking about Easter, which is still months away. Many shoppers know Christmas is over as soon as they see Cadbury Creme Eggs out on display and for many stores that's at the end of December. Indeed specialist confectionery cash and carry chain Hancocks has been stocking Creme Eggs since last month to ensure its customers can display them straight after Christmas.

Better for you?
04 December, 2013

You just have to look at the success of online firm Graze, whose sales have doubled, to recognise the demand for healthy snacks. The company now delivers more than 300,000 Graze healthy snack boxes a week direct to consumers' homes.

When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?