Fuel tax cut for UK drivers among lowest in Europe – RAC

The UK languishes near the bottom of a ranking of European countries for measures taken to ease the burden of high fuel prices.

Only Luxembourg has done less than the UK government out of 13 European countries that have cut petrol taxes since prices started to soar in March, according to the RAC.

The 5p per liter reduction implemented by the UK in March is dwarfed by fuel tax reductions enjoyed by drivers in countries such as Germany (25.1p per litre), Italy (21 .2p per litre), Portugal (16.2p per litre), the Netherlands (14.7p per litre) and Ireland (14.5p per litre).

The French and Spanish governments have introduced forecourt cash rebates worth around 15 pence per liter and 17 pence per liter respectively.

Some fuel retailers, including TotalEnergies in France and BP Spain, have price reductions of up to around 33p per litre.

Of the 15 European Union states that have not taken action to cut prices at the pump since March, all but six already charge less fuel duty than the UK.

UK petrol prices have finally started to fall in recent days after pressure on retailers to reflect a drop in wholesale costs that began seven weeks ago.

But the UK still has an average petrol price 186p per liter higher than all EU members except Finland (190p) and Denmark (also 186p).

Drivers in France pay around 23p per liter less than those in the UK.

Repeated pleas to the UK government for more support fall on deaf ears

Simon Williams, ACR

The situation is similar for diesel, with only Croatia introducing a lower fuel tax reduction than the UK, and only one EU member, Sweden, having a higher 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 is about the least done to support drivers during the current period of record fuel prices.

“The result is that the UK is one of the most expensive places to refuel and puts it above other countries that have historically charged more fuel than UK retailers, including France and the -Down.

“The cost of living crisis shows no sign of an imminent end and it is frustrating that repeated pleas to the UK government for more support have fallen on deaf ears.

“UK pump prices could finally start to come down, but the cuts so far are too small and too late, given the massive wholesale price cuts that retailers have been enjoying for almost two months.

“Drivers, many of whom rely heavily on their vehicles, need more help and they need it now.”

Fuel prices were already rising before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war has exacerbated the situation.

A reduction in the use of Russian oil has increased demand from other producers, leading to higher prices.

Protests have taken place across the UK, with convoys of vehicles driving slowly on the motorways.

Here is a ranking of European Union and UK countries based on petrol tax cuts per liter since March, according to the RAC:

1. GermanyPetrol tax reduction: 25.1p per litreAverage pump price: 154p per liter

2. ItalyPetrol tax reduction: 21.2p per litreAverage pump price: 164p per liter

3. PortugalPetrol tax reduction: 16.2p per litreAverage pump price: 161p per liter

4. Netherlands Petrol tax reduction: 14.7 pence per liter Average pump price: 182 pence per liter

5. IrelandPetrol tax reduction: 14.5 pence per liter Average pump price: 171 pence per liter

6. SwedenPetrol tax reduction: 13.0p per litreAverage pump price: 168p per liter

7. BelgiumPetrol tax reduction: 12.3p per litreAverage pump price: 159p per liter

8. CroatiaPetrol tax reduction: 9.0p per litreAverage pump price: 151p per liter

9. CyprusPetrol tax reduction: 5.9p per litreAverage pump price: 152p per liter

10. HungaryPetrol tax reduction: 5.3p per litreAverage pump price: 106p per liter

11. Czech RepublicPetrol tax reduction: 5.2p per litreAverage pump price: 160p per liter

12. UKPetrol tax reduction: 5.0p per litreAverage pump price: 186p per liter

13. LuxembourgPetrol tax reduction: 4.5p per litreAverage pump price: 145p per liter

The following members of the European Union have not reduced gasoline taxes since March (ranked in order of highest average pump price):

FinlandAverage price at the pump: 190p per liter

DenmarkAverage pump price: 186p per liter

GreeceAverage price at the pump: 185p per liter

AustriaAverage price at the pump: 169p per liter

SpainAverage price at the pump: 166p per liter

FranceAverage price at the pump: 163p per liter

LatviaAverage price at the pump: 161p per liter

LithuaniaAverage price at the pump: 158p per liter

SlovakiaAverage price at the pump: 155p per liter

EstoniaAverage price at the pump: 149p per liter

RomaniaAverage price at the pump: 147p per liter

SloveniaAverage price at the pump: 145p per liter

BulgariaAverage price at the pump: 144p per liter

PolandAverage price at the pump: 131p per liter

MaltaAverage pump price: 114p per liter