Pre-Budget 2013 briefing19 Mar 2013

The figures behind motoring poverty and fuel prices

The latest fuel prices are as follows:


Current price

(18th March 2013)

Record high




142.17p (16th April 2012)



148.04p (16th April 2012)

Oil (Brent crude per barrel)


$148 (11th July 2008)


The current rate of duty is 57.95p per litre of petrol and diesel. It has been at this level since March 2011.

As a proportion of the price of unleaded fuel, tax (fuel duty + VAT) makes up 59% of the total.

A proposed 3.02p per litre increase in the level of fuel duty was scheduled to take place on 1st January 2013. In the Autumn Statement 2012 the Chancellor cancelled this increase.

The next fuel duty increase was scheduled for 1st April 2013 but that was postponed (also in the Autumn Statement 2012) to 1st September 2013. It has not been formally announced what the level of this increase will be.

Two weeks ago the RAC Foundation published analysis on the impact of high motoring costs on the poorest ten percent of car-owning households, showing just how deeply they are mired in motoring poverty.

Our work showed that roughly 800,000 car-owning households are spending at least 27% of their disposable income on buying and running a car.

Of a total maximum weekly expenditure of £167, these households saw £44 go on vehicle related purchasing and operating costs, including:

£16 on petrol and diesel.

£8.30 on insurance.

The complete breakdown of these figures, plus figures for other income groups is available here.

Professor Stephen Glaister (RAC Foundation director) and Philip Gomm (Head of External Communications) will both be available for interview/comment before and after the Budget statement.


Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 07711 776448 | 020 7747 3445 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)