Business fuel consumption saw record post-lockdown growth in early August, and peaked in the week beginning 17 August at 125% above the lockdown baseline.

That’s according to fuel card provider Allstar, which has published its latest Business Barometer report based on customer data.

As previously, a majority of the data comes from commercial vehicles – though the number of company car journeys has increased as lockdown measures were lifted.

It says economic sectors which saw the biggest growth in mileage during the week beginning 17 August included arts, entertainment and recreation, at 407%, as well as manufacturing (161%), construction (141%), and financial services (106%).

Hospitality and catering (211%), and wholesale and retail (161%), saw their biggest growth the following week, while the biggest growth in the education sector (258%), was unsurprisingly seen in the week beginning 31 August, just before the end of the school holidays.

Overall business fuel consumption for August was down by 4.4% compared with July, which Allstar has attributed to the August Bank Holiday.

Paul Holland, MD for UK fuel at Allstar’s parent company Fleetcor, said: “Although at first glance seeing a drop in business fuel consumption in August may suggest a slowdown, this followed a sharp rise in June and July. 

“The decrease in business travel can also be attributed to August traditionally being a quiet month thanks to the Bank Holiday weekend, as well as increased domestic and foreign holidays as some coronavirus regulations were eased. Early indicators seem to suggest a stronger start to September as children return to school.

“It’s encouraging to see all sectors witnessing their highest weekly growth spikes during the last month; highlighting a continued hunger for businesses to get back on the road as the recovery continues. 

“While the number of people on holiday clearly had a downward impact towards the end of the month, it doesn’t appear this will have a long-lasting effect.”