European fuel prices03 Apr 2012

And you think petrol is expensive here? Euro fuel price shock awaits holiday drivers

Despite soaring fuel prices at home, UK drivers are in for an even bigger shock as they head to the Continent over the Easter break.

Several European countries have higher petrol prices than here even though many are in the midst of a severe economic downturn.

Denmark has the highest petrol price (£1.59 per litre) followed by the Netherlands and Italy (both £1.58), Greece (£1.56) and Sweden (£1.51). Portugal, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany and Ireland also have higher prices than the UK which is at number 12 in the list.

The cheapest petrol in Europe is to be found in Romania at £1.12 per litre.

Note: the table above is ordered by highest to lowest petrol prices in pounds. The data for European prices comes from where everything is quoted in euros. These have been converted to pounds using today’s tourist exchange rate of £1=€1.17
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Drivers heading for the Continent should not be under any illusion that they will find cheaper fuel in many of the popular holiday destinations. Even if you allow for the hike in prices seen here over the last few days caused by the tanker drivers’ dispute, petrol prices will be eye-wateringly high in several countries. While petrol might be easier to find across the Channel, motorists are still going to need deep pockets to buy it.”
However the picture is different when it comes to diesel with UK pump prices second only to Italy, with cheaper diesel to be found in the remaining 25 countries of the 27-member European Union (EU). 
“Compared with the other 26 countries in the EU, the UK is the only one to have the same level of duty for both diesel and petrol. Everywhere else the rate of duty for diesel is less than that for petrol and this is reflected in the price of diesel which is almost universally cheaper across the Channel. With about 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.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448 / [email protected] / 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 on 3rd April 2012
The tourist exchange rate available at the Post Office on 3rd April 2012 was £1 = €1.17