UK drivers still facing highest fuel tax in Europe 03 Mar 2014

Fuel tax burden remains despite duty freeze

Pump prices in the UK still routinely contain the largest proportion of tax in the EU. This is despite fuel duty having been frozen since March 2011.

Calculations by the RAC Foundation show 61% of the price of a litre of unleaded petrol and 59% of the price of a litre of diesel go the chancellor in fuel duty and VAT.

This means that of the 28 countries in the EU it is UK drivers who pay the highest proportion of tax for diesel and the second highest for petrol. Only Sweden is at comparable levels.

The full list is below. Countries are ranked by % of pump price that is tax.

Rank

Country

Unleaded Retail Price

Unleaded % Duty & Tax

Rank

Country

Diesel Retail Price

Diesel % Duty & Tax

1

Sweden

£1.24

62%

1

UK

£1.37

59%

2

UK

£1.30

61%

2

Sweden

£1.24

56%

3

Neth'lands

£1.45

61%

3

Italy

£1.39

55%

4

Greece

£1.36

60%

4

Ireland

£1.21

52%

5

Italy

£1.45

59%

5

France

£1.08

50%

6

Ireland

£1.25

59%

6

Neth'lands

£1.23

50%

7

Finland

£1.32

58%

7

Finland

£1.25

50%

8

France

£1.22

58%

8

Slovenia

£1.09

49%

9

Germany

£1.30

57%

9

Germany

£1.17

49%

10

Slovakia

£1.17

56%

10

Cyprus

£1.18

48%

11

Slovenia

£1.19

56%

11

Hungary

£1.13

48%

12

Belgium

£1.32

55%

12

Austria

£1.09

48%

13

Portugal

£1.31

55%

13

Czech R.

£1.10

47%

14

Denmark

£1.40

55%

14

Belgium

£1.19

47%

15

Austria

£1.12

53%

15

Slovakia

£1.11

47%

16

Czech R.

£1.09

53%

16

Denmark

£1.28

46%

17

Croatia

£1.10

53%

17

Croatia

£1.04

46%

18

Hungary

£1.08

51%

18

Malta

£1.11

46%

19

Latvia

£1.05

51%

19

Estonia

£1.10

46%

20

Malta

£1.18

51%

20

Poland

£1.06

46%

21

Lithuania

£1.07

51%

21

Romania

£1.10

45%

22

Cyprus

£1.16

51%

22

Portugal

£1.15

45%

23

Spain

£1.16

50%

23

Spain

£1.10

45%

24

Poland

£1.05

50%

24

Latvia

£1.04

45%

25

Estonia

£1.07

49%

25

Greece

£1.13

44%

26

Romania

£1.08

48%

26

Lithuania

£1.05

43%

27

Lux'bourg

£1.08

48%

27

Bulgaria

£1.07

42%

28

Bulgaria

£1.05

45%

28

Lux'bourg

£0.98

41%

Data correct as of 28th February 2014. Source: energy.eu & EU Oil Bulletin

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“On 19th March the Chancellor will deliver his budget. He has made much of the fact that fuel duty has not risen for three years. However this has made little impact on the huge proportion of tax the UK’s 36 million drivers pay on their fuel.

“The irony is that if you take tax out of the equation we actually have the fifth cheapest diesel in the EU and the second cheapest petrol. The oil companies and retailers are often blamed for soaring pump prices but these figures reveal that’s not the whole picture.

“With the poorest car owners now spending as much as a third of their income on buying and running a vehicle, and with a record number of people now commuting to work by car, there are plenty of reasons why the Chancellor should consider going beyond his promise to continue the fuel duty freeze and actually cut the rate further.”

RAC Foundation research shows that some 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households in the UK spend about a third of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle.

RAC Foundation analysis also shows that a record 16.7 million people in England and Wales are reliant on a car to get to work: 15.3 million as drivers and 1.4 million as passengers.

Interactive data charts on fuel prices and the cost of motoring are available on the RAC Foundation data pages:

www.racfoundation.org/data

ENDS

Contacts:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications

Philip.gomm@racfoundation.org | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.

In February 2014 the RAC Foundation revealed that around 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households in the UK were spending about a third of their disposable incomes on buying and running a vehicle:

http://www.racfoundation.org/media-centre/transport-poverty-2014-press-release-ONS-data

In December 2013 the RAC Foundation showed that a record 16.7 million people in England and Wales now rely on a car to get to work either as a driver or passenger:

http://www.racfoundation.org/media-centre/the-car-and-the-commute-press-release

 

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