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 in September approximately 13% less than last year

Updated: 13 November 2020

Estimated sales of fuel in September 2020 were approximately 28.2 thousand cubic meters. This sale is considerably lower (13.6%) than the total sales in September 2019, which was 32.6 thousand cubic meters. Approximately 18% of the 2019 fuel sales involved transactions using payment cards issued outside of Iceland. Conversely, the sales to foreign issued payment cards in September of this year was only 2% of sales. Total sales excluding foreign payment cards was 27.7 thousand cubic meter in September this year, which is 3.5% (26.7 thousand cubic meters) higher than these sales from September 2019.

Total sales to foreign payment cards were greatly reduced this year in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. As a comparison, the volume fraction of fuel purchased using foreign payment cards out of the total was between 15 and 20% in 2019. This year, the ratio ranged between 0.5 and 7.7% during the summer. Icelanders, however, traveled considerably more domestically this summer. Sales excluding foreign payment cards between May and August were 140.9 thousand cubic meters, which is 17.6% (119.8 thousand cubic meters) greater than in the same period last year. Thus, the total January-September sales for 2020 were only 1.9% lower than the sales for the same period in 2019.


Fuelsales from pumps by month 201113 (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