- Halfords says panic buying could drive Jerry’s sales up 1,656% over the weekend
- Other retailers say they have sold jerry cans as stock fuel to selfish drivers.
- Increased demand for containers has raised concerns about drivers breaking the law in cars and home fuel storage
- The health and safety executive says you can legally store only 30 liters of petrol in your home or non-work premises without informing the authorities.
According to Hoffords, Jerry Can sales picked up over the weekend due to concerns about petrol purchases across the UK.
The retailer saw the phrase ‘jerry can’ become the fourth-highest search term on its website, with online interest in products up 1,136 percent from a week ago.
It says sales were up 17 times compared to last weekend, as selfish drivers rushed to stockpile fuel after concerns about HGV driver shortages queued outside filling stations over the past four days.
And a huge increase in sales, despite assurances that there is no shortage of petrol or diesel at refineries, has warned that some drivers may be breaking the rules by inadvertently transporting excess fuel in their cars or storing too much at home.
Could there be a Jerry shortage ahead? Halfords says the weekend saw a surge in sales of jerry cans, while some online stockers have sold out entirely of them when shopping for petrol across the UK
While it’s perfectly legal to fill jerry cans with petrol or diesel at fuel stations – although potentially antisocial to take more than you need to when some drivers are struggling to fill up – there are strict rules about this. That’s how much can be kept in your personal property.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, you can legally store only 30 liters of petrol in your home or non-work premises without informing the correct authorities.
The AA recommends that people should not consider transporting excess fuel in their vehicles, or store it at home.
For storage in your home – either in a shed or garage – the rules stipulate that only 20 liters of petrol can be stored in a metal jerry and No more than 10 liters in plastic alternate containers, which traditionally only hold five liters each.
More than that and it becomes a legal requirement to notify your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA) in writing, indicating your name and address of the storage location, the directions are.
Drivers are also allowed to carry only two suitable containers in the car at any one time and this must be in the boot and not in the cabin of the vehicle.
They should be clearly marked with the words ‘petrol’ and ‘highly flammable’, ‘strong and not liable to break under normal conditions of use’ and should also prevent the escape of petrol vapor.
If pulled over by police and a fuel container is believed to be not in good condition, officers may classify it as a ‘dangerous load’ or ‘could be dangerous’.
Along with Halfords, which has been reporting an uptick in Jerry Can sales in recent days, online retailer Wholesale Clearance UK says it has sold off its entire stock over the weekend as drivers looked to stock up on fuel for themselves.
“Before the crisis, our stock of jerry cans sold out at a steady pace, but over the weekend, we sold out in record time,” says CEO, Carl Baxter.
‘On Friday, I had 5,000 jerry cans being sold for £3.50 each, which we sold in job lots of 12 – now we are completely sold out!
‘Keep in mind, these items were listed for months without much interest.’
Baxter now warns that Jerry Kane could run out of fuel as well, as his stock is running dry.
‘Even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t be able to supply any more jerry cans for at least three months. It is likely that it could also cause a jerry shortage,’ he explained.
‘After the sale, till the situation with respect to petrol normalises, we have no further plans to source and supply the jerry cans, so as to discourage panic buying.’
A joint statement published this afternoon by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on behalf of the fuel industry – including BP, Shell, Esso – said: ‘There is a lot of fuel in the UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are To work closely with the government to help ensure the supply of fuel to stations across the country.
‘With many cars now holding more fuel than usual, we expect demand to return to normal levels in the coming days, reducing pressure on the fuel station forecourt. We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually do.
‘We are extremely grateful to all forecourt staff and HGV drivers for working tirelessly to maintain supplies during this time.’
Halfords says that despite this attempt to panic buying at the pumps, the crowd also increased the bike orders.
It claims to have registered a 23 per cent increase in cycle sales as compared to the previous weekend.
Electric e-bike sales were even higher, up 106 percent over the same period.