Daily diesel sales are 20% lower than before the pandemic lockdown was introduced, with petrol sales down by 26%, according to the latest government data.

The continued depression is revealed in data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The data comes from sales figures from 4,500 filling stations, which make up over 50% of petrol stations in Great Britain and covers the period from 27 January 2020 to 05 July 2020.

While average sales per filling station are gradually rising - up 3.2% the week of 7 July, compared to the previous week, with sales gradually increasing since mid-April - they have yet to return to pre-lockdown levels, the research reveals.

In the eight weeks prior to lockdown being imposed on 23 March, average daily road fuel sales were 17,690 litres per filling station.

However, on 12 April, at the peak of the pandemic, this fell to a low of a daily average of 2,500 litres.

Figures for the first part of the lockdown from 23 March to 10 May were down 71% on pre-lockdown fuel sales.

Greg Wilson, founder of car insurance comparison website said: “As the lockdown begins to ease we’ve been expecting to see the level of road use across Great Britain start to climb back up – especially with reduced use of public transport, but this newly published data shows that we’re still quite a long way off pre-lockdown levels.

He added: “However, the very modest 3.2% week-on-week rise in fuel sales suggests many motorists are still cautious, in which case it might be the autumn or later before the traffic on Britain’s roads is back to pre-lockdown levels – particularly since government guidance still states that anyone who is able to work from home should continue to do so for the time being.”