A report by research firm Andersen has indicated that the large supermarket chains will dominate the future of UK petrol retailing.

Many of the leading supermarket groups, for example Tesco, Safeway and Sainsbury's, already have forecourt ventures in this troubled market, and the report said that the convenience of these locations is encouraging car owners to fill up their petrol tanks while they shop for groceries.

The study concluded: "Rather than having chains of Total or Texaco petrol stations that happen to sell food, there will be small roadside Sainsbury's and Tesco stores that happen to sell petrol."