Vandalism, delivery hold-ups and fluctuating petrol prices left many of Portsmouth garages without roadside price displays.
The Petrol Price (Display) Order of 1977, made under the 1974 Prices Act, stated that petrol prices should be clearly displayed on garage premises.
Amendments carefully regulated the information that could be, and should be, displayed on outside hoardings.
But Hampshire County Council’s trading standards officer said: ‘There is no requirement that the price should be displayed to passing motorists’.
There was an increasing number of filling stations across the city not showing their prices.
At Huxfords in Copnor Road, a spokesman said the display had been vandalised.
He said: ‘The advertisement was smashed. There is another one on order with some correct pricing fixtures.’
Tony Wormack, a salesman at the Total Garage in Milton Road, said: ‘We are waiting for the new poster showing the latest prices.’
The standards office spokesman said that the fluctuating price of petrol caused many garages to remove their external displays.