Experimental statistics

Fuel sales from pump


The statistics published herein show the estimated volume of fuel from distribution pumps for the use of road transport in Iceland by year and month. The volume is classified as gasoline or diesel fuel. No estimate has been done for sales of methane, hydrogen or kerosene. In addition, values are classified by if the purchaser used a credit/debit card (“kortavelta”) or if the transaction involved direct transfer, cash or other methods of transfer (“utan kortaveltu”). The credit/debit transactions are further aggregated by the origin of the card issuer as either Icelandic or foreign.


The statistics are the results of analysis of data received from Icelandic payment card processors. The fuel price for each transaction is based on information from Statistics Iceland’s price index and from information published on the websites of fuel companies. The total volume of fuel sold for road transport in Iceland is calculated from fuel tax returns reported by Iceland Revenue and Customs and from data reported from the National Energy Authority. The total for years missing from the tax data (most recent two years) is estimated from fuel import and the historical correlation between import and distribution the preceding years.

Conversion from fuel sales (ISK) to fuel volume assumes that fuel is sold without club discounts. The difference in the volume delivered with and without a discount automatically ends up classified as “utan kortaveltu”. It is assumed that sales at gas stations are primarily from fuel sales and to a much smaller extent from the sales of other items, such as candy, snacks and oil. Preliminary analysis indicates that sale volume of non-gasoline items is below 2% at stations that offer other products.

The fuel sales calculated from payment card transactions are subtracted from the total sales. This fuel is labeled as “utan kortaveltu”. This category encompasses all cash sales, fund transfers (e.g. when a business has a fuel pump on site), pre-paid fuel coupons or other financial transactions that do not use the services of Icelandic payment processing companies.


Publication of timely information regarding fuel distribution gives a better picture of how driving and road transportation are developing. The data will be updated quarterly. The data should provide answers to question such as:

  1. How large is the fraction of fuel consumed by foreign nationals in the territory (tourism)?
  2. How do the fractions of gasoline and diesel fuel change during times when vehicles in Iceland are being renewed?

Fuel sale reached a new high in July 2020

Updated: 13 October 2020


The total volume of fuel used in road transport was 31,000 cubic meters in July 2020. This is an increase of 8.6% from the same month last year when sales were 28,500 cubic meters. The percentage of volume of fuel that was purchased on a payment card issued outside of Iceland was considerably lower in July 2020 than in July 2019. In recent years, this number has been around 8% during the winter months but reached approximately 25% during the summer months. However, the percentage fell below 1% during the first wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in April 2020. The percentage then reached 8.6% in July 2020. If it is assumed that all sales outside of foreign issued credit and debit cards are to Icelandic households and companies, then Icelandic consumption was 30% higher in July 2020 (28.5 thousand m3) as compared with July 2019 (21,000 m3).

The analysis here shows that approximately 30% of all fuel volume is paid for by means other than credit and debit cards. This could include cash transactions, direct monetary transfers, companies with fuel pumps on their premises and other means by which Icelandic credit card processors are not involved. In 2016, gasoline accounted for 53% of the total volume of fuel for road transport. This ratio has steadily decreased since then and has been approximately 40% in 2020.


Fuelsales from pumps by month 131020 (xlsx)


The total fuel volume is calculated from the environmental tax levied by the Icelandic government, values for fuel distribution from the Energy Authority and from import/export statistics. The volume bought at fuel pumps by credit card transactions was calculated using an estimate of daily fuel prices at gas stations using one price for gasoline and one for diesel fuel. No estimate was done on the sales of methane, hydrogen or kerosene. Monthly sales outside of credit and debit card sales were estimated from credit card sales and VAT received from companies which have vehicle fleets as part of their key operations.

Further metadata

Use of these experimental statistics is free. Please quote the source.
For further information please contact+354 528 1278. E-mail: Thorsteinn.Adalsteinsson@statice.is