A motorist holds a fuel pump at a Gulf petrol station in London in this April 18, 2006 file photo. Oil dropped nearly 2 percent on March 20, 2012 as Saudi Arabia sought to knock back crude's price rise that has threatened the global economy, with the oil minister offering the most detailed argument to date that the OPEC nation was prepared to meet any supply shortfall. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY COMMODITIES)


Johannesburg - Service stations have begun asking motorists to pay for fuel before it is dispensed - because of the increasing number of cases where motorists drive off without paying, the Beeld reported on Saturday.

The trend is happening countrywide, it reported.

“There is definitely an increase in incidents where people drive off without paying,” Engen spokesman Gavin Smith was quoted as saying.

He said these incidents had increased since the fuel price had surpassed R10 a litre, and even more so in the past six months.

“We attribute this to the economy and the high fuel price,” said Smith.

Beeld carried a picture of a notice displayed at an Engen service station in Auckland Park which read: “We regret that we have had to instruct our staff to ask for payment before filling up during high-risk periods.”

High risk periods were late-night and early-morning business. - Sapa