Fuel tax cut of 5p among lowest in Europe as motorists on the continent get better deal, data shows

Fuel tax cut of 5p is among the lowest in Europe as motorists on the continent get better deal, data reveals

  • Thirteen European nations have cut petrol taxes since prices soared, RAC finds
  • But the 5p-per-litre reduction in the UK is dwarfed by other countries’ cuts
  • Germany reduced petrol tax by 25.1p, Italy by 21.2p and Portugal by 16.2p
  • RAC: Petrol pump price ‘reductions so far are too little and too late’

Britain’s 5p cut in fuel duty is one of the lowest in Europe – with only Luxembourg reducing it by less, figures reveal.

Thirteen European nations have cut petrol taxes since prices began to soar in March, according to the RAC.

But the 5p-per-litre reduction in the UK in March is dwarfed by fuel tax cuts enjoyed by motorists in other countries.

Germany reduced petrol tax by 25.1p per litre, Italy by 21.2p, Portugal by 16.2p, the Netherlands by 14.7p and Ireland by 14.5p per litre.

Motorists block the A12 near Kelvedon in protest against high fuel costs. Photo taken July 4

Governments in France and Spain have introduced discounts at forecourt tills worth around 15p per litre and 17p per litre, respectively.

Some fuel retailers, including TotalEnergies in France and BP Spain, have introduced price reductions worth up to about 33p a litre.

Of the 15 European Union members that have not taken steps to lower pump prices since March, all but six already charge less fuel duty than the UK.

Luxembourg is the only country that chose to cut petrol tax, but did so by less than the UK – reducing its duty by just 4.5p per litre.

British petrol prices have finally started falling in recent days after pressure on retailers to reflect a drop in wholesale costs which began seven weeks ago.

But the UK still has a higher average petrol price of 186p a litre than all European Union members except Finland (190p) and Denmark (186p). Drivers in France pay around 23p a litre less than those in the UK.

It is a similar picture for diesel, with only Croatia introducing a smaller fuel tax cut than the UK, and only one European Union member, Sweden, having a more expensive average price.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘This analysis lays bare an uncomfortable truth for the UK Government – that compared to other European countries, it’s pretty much done the least to support drivers through the current period of record high fuel prices.

‘The result is the UK being one of the most expensive places to fill up and putting it above other countries that have historically charged more for fuel than UK retailers do, including France and the Netherlands.

‘The cost of living crisis shows no signs of coming to an end any time soon and it’s frustrating that repeated calls to the UK Government for more support are falling on deaf ears.

‘UK pump prices might be finally starting to fall, but the reductions so far are too little and too late, given the massive wholesale price drops retailers have been benefiting from for nearly two months.

‘Drivers, many of whom depend heavily on their vehicles, need more help and they need it now.’

Fuel prices were already rising before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war exacerbated the situation. A reduction in the use of Russian oil has increased demand from other producers, resulting in higher prices.

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