A new survey has revealed that over 25,000 motorists in the UK drove off forecourts without paying for their petrol last year, Yahoo Finance reports.
While nearly three quarters (74%) said they had simply forgotten to pay, only half of drivers actually returned to the garage to settle up.
However, the most alarming finding of the survey was that some drivers were happy to 'pump and run'.
Of those who drove off without paying for their fuel, over one in 10 (12%) deliberately did so as they said they had no means of paying for it.
Filling up a vehicle and driving off without paying, which is also known as 'bilking', is a criminal offence and nearly one in 10 (8%) motorists questioned admitted to committing this offence.
According to the survey, fuel retailers in the West Midlands have been hit the hardest by 'pump and run' drivers.
West Midlands Police have recorded 4,027 occurrences of drivers 'pumping and running' in the past 12 months.
Not far behind is West Yorkshire Police who reported 3,825 motorists driving off without paying for fuel in the same period.
A contributing factor to the frequency in 'pump and run' incidents is an increase in the cost of fuel. Prices have risen steadily over the last three months, adding 9p a litre so far this year.
This increase in price may explain why nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits can understand why so many drivers are willing to commit petrol theft.
Have you ever forgotten to pay for petrol?