The UK is one of the European countries that has done the least to support drivers with rocketing pump prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new RAC Europe data analysis shows – leading UK drivers to pay as much as 20p more per litre of petrol than drivers in France.
Out of 13 EU countries that have cut tax on petrol in order to ease the spiralling costs faced by drivers every time they fill up, only one – Luxembourg – has done less than the UK Government, with a duty cut in April worth the equivalent of 4.52p compared to the 5p duty cut announced at the UK Budget in March. It’s a similar picture for diesel, with only Croatia doing less for its drivers than the UK, with a cut worth 4.5p.
The UK Government’s intervention back in the Spring looks paltry when compared to most other European nations, with Germany taking the equivalent of 25p a litre in tax off per litre of petrol on 1 June, Italy 21p, Portugal 16p and both Ireland and the Netherlands nearly 15p.
In addition, as an alternative to cutting fuel duty, governments of other countries in the EU have introduced fuel discounts at forecourt tills with Spain taking off 20 cents (about 17p) and France 18 cents (about 15p), while some fuel retailers including TotalEnergies in France and BP Spain have discounts running of up to 40 cents per litre (about 33p).
Of the remaining 15 EU states that haven’t taken steps to lower pump prices since March, all but six already charge less fuel duty than the UK even after the UK cut fuel duty by 5p in March’s Spring Statement.
It does mean that UK motorists heading abroad will see a big difference in what they pay at home and abroad and they will be topping up before they board the ferries or trains home.