BERLIN, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Fuel prices in Germany fell by 20.7 percent in May compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Wednesday, which is believed to be contributing to an increased popularity in car use in the country.
The drop was a "result of the oil price slump in the world market, which has been observed since the beginning of the year," Destatis said in a news release. Such low fuel prices had last been recorded at the beginning of 2016.
"Going on holidays by car is currently rather inexpensive" in Germany and the "popularity of cars, which are a frequently-used means of transport anyway, could further increase," said Destatis.
For 10 years in a row, almost half of all Germans had been traveling abroad by car. Last year, 42 percent of Germans used cars for journeys outside the country -- making driving even more popular than traveling by plane, said Destatis.
At the end of June, a survey conducted by opinion research institute Civey found that just under 70 percent of Germans who plan to go on holidays this summer will travel by car. For families with children, the share has reached around 75 percent.
As a possible effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, around one in five households plan to use a different means of transport for their summer holidays this year than in previous years, the survey said.
Meanwhile, "the choice to use a car for a holiday trip is an obvious one because of its high availability," Destatis said. On average, more than three quarters of all households in Germany owned a car in 2019.
However, there are signs that gasoline prices for consumers will pick up again. Between April and May, import prices of mineral oil rose by 34 percent, while import prices of petroleum products went up by 8.1 percent, according to Destatis.
Price increases in fuels were already reflected in consumer prices in June. According to preliminary data by Destatis, consumers are paying 4-6 percent more for fuel in June compared to the previous month. Enditem