UK motorists second only to Finland in high fuel prices

The RAC claims that motorists in Britain are paying more for petrol than anywhere else in Europe, except Finland. This is despite the Government’s inability to lower fuel duties.

The UK’s petrol prices are more expensive than those in 26 of the 27 EU countries.

Prices are at least 20p less per litre in the Eurozone’s four major economies, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, while many other countries have made larger cuts to fuel taxes, according to the motoring group.

Rishi Sunak, who was chancellor of £2.4bn, gave drivers a 5p per-litre cut to fuel duty. It is however dwarfed by other European countries actions, such as Italy, Germany, and Ireland.

The average price of petrol in the UK is 186p a litre. This is higher than any other EU country, except Finland (190p). The RAC also found that the UK is 12th among the 13 countries that have cut fuel taxes to respond to rising oil prices. Only Luxembourg chose a lower petrol tax, but overall fuel prices are much lower in Luxembourg than in the UK.

These figures will increase the pressure on the UK government to promise more support to drivers who are feeling the pinch due to the record-breaking forecourt prices. Concerns have been raised that forecourts may not have passed on the fuel duty cuts and drops in wholesale prices to drivers, causing high costs.

After Germany cut its petrol taxes by 25p, fuel costs in the UK are now much higher than in Germany’s 154p/litre.

The cheapest petrol prices in Hungary are 106p, while they average 163p and 164p respectively in France, Italy, and Spain. The UK had the second-highest diesel prices behind Sweden.

Simon Williams, RAC, stated that “Compared to other European nations, it’s pretty much done little to support drivers during this period of record-high fuel prices.”

“The result is that the UK is one of the most expensive places in the world to fill up, putting it above other countries who have historically charged more fuel than the UK retailers, such as France and the Netherlands.”

He stated that drivers need more assistance as the drops in pump costs are too little and too late, given the dramatic drop in wholesale prices experienced by retailers over the past months.

The soaring oil prices and the ensuing Western sanctions including the embargoes placed on Russian crude oil by the UK, US, and EU have sent pump costs skyrocketing.

Although oil prices have fallen from their peak this year, Brent crude, which is the benchmark for the UK, is still at $100 per barrel. This is up 40% since the beginning of the year.


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