Petrol prices fuel Eurozone holiday costs for UK drivers
05 Aug 2011
Drivers of cars using unleaded petrol are in for a shock when they fill up in some of the most popular holiday destinations on the continent.
Contrary to popular myth - and despite the financial turmoil across much of the Eurozone – the UK does not have the most expensive petrol prices in Europe.
Using the current tourist exchange rate, eight of the 17 countries which use the Euro as their national currency are shown to charge more at the pumps for unleaded fuel than the UK.
Amongst Eurozone nations the most expensive fuel is to be found in Greece (£1.55 per litre), followed by The Netherlands (£1.54) and then France and Belgium (both £1.47). After that comes Portugal and Italy (both £1.45), Finland (£1.42) and Germany (£1.40). In the UK the current unleaded price is £1.36 per litre.
The cheapest Eurozone petrol is to be found in Cyprus (£1.12).
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“Contrary to the myth, the price of unleaded is even more exorbitant on the continent than here in the UK. For all the reported problems in the Eurozone, the currency remains relatively strong against sterling, and that means UK drivers who have petrol-powered cars will need deep pockets when they get off the ferry or out of the Channel Tunnel.”
However the picture is different when it comes to diesel.
UK drivers pay the highest pump prices for diesel not only in the Eurozone but across all 27 member states of the European Union (EU). In the UK it costs motorists £1.40 a litre to fill up with diesel. By comparison in Italy diesel is £1.34, Greece £1.32, Belgium £1.31, France £1.30 and
Portugal £1.29. In Luxembourg it is just £1.08.
“Compared with the Eurozone countries, the UK is the only nation to have the same level of duty for both diesel and petrol. All other countries have a lower rate of duty for diesel than for petrol and this is reflected with the price of diesel being universally cheaper across the channel. With almost 30% of the UK’s car fleet now diesel-powered this will be good news for many of the hundreds of thousands of drivers travelling abroad this summer.”
“For all the talk of the big oil companies making vast profits off the back of motorists it is also worth remembering that before duty and VAT, the UK’s petrol and diesel prices are amongst the cheapest in Europe. While there are legitimate questions to be asked of the likes of BP and Shell about pump prices, the biggest winner is the Treasury which takes some 60% of the money you and I pay on the forecourt for fuel.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448 / Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)
Notes to Editors:
The RAC Foundation is a charity which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and responsible road users. Independent and authoritative research, carried out for the public benefit, is central to the Foundation’s activities.
UK fuel prices were taken from the Department of Energy and Climate Change website:
The continental fuel prices were taken from http://www.energy.eu/ on 2nd August.
The tourist exchange rate on 1st August 2011 available from Thomas Cook was £1 = €1.10.
17of the 27 Member States of the European Union use the Euro as their currency. They are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.
Those which do not use the Euro are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the UK.
Eurozone country followed by unleaded price per litre and then diesel price per litre.
Austria £1.28 £1.22
Belgium £1.47 £1.31
Cyprus £1.12 £1.16
Estonia £1.15 £1.15
Finland £1.42 £1.25
France £1.47 £1.30
Germany £1.40 £1.27
Greece £1.55 £1.32
Ireland £1.35 £1.28
Italy £1.45 £1.34
Luxembourg £1.20 £1.08
Malta £1.28 £1.18
Netherlands £1.54 £1.25
Portugal £1.45 £1.29
Slovakia £1.31 £1.21
Slovenia £1.17 £1.13
Spain £1.23 £1.17
UK (For comparison) £1.36 £1.40