The soaring cost of unleaded and diesel has seen an increase in instances of people driving off from forecourts without paying. Petrol retailers say their fuel theft bill has risen by several million pounds. Prepay pumps would prevent theft.
Some UK forecourts already have a prepay system in use particularly at the supermarket forecourts. The prepay system where drivers have to swipe a debit or credit card at the pump before they can access fuel is already widely used in the United States.
Recent surveys suggest that one in three drivers still pay in cash but this is thought to be more common in rural areas, the recent increases in fuel means it is costing more to fill up a car so drivers are using cards to pay.
Petrol stations will still be manned by staff selling the usual shop items such as sweets sandwiches and motor accessories.