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

The 5p fuel tax cut is among the lowest in Europe as motorists on the continent get a better deal, data shows

  • Thirteen European countries have cut petrol taxes since the price spike, RAC says
  • But the UK’s 5p per liter cut is dwarfed by cuts in other countries
  • Germany cut petrol tax by 25.1p, Italy by 21.2p and Portugal by 16.2p
  • RAC: ‘The cuts in the price of gasoline at the pump so far are too small and too late’

Britain’s 5p fuel tax cut is one of the smallest in Europe – only Luxembourg is cutting it less and less, the figures show.

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

But the 5p per liter cut in the UK in March is dwarfed by fuel tax reductions enjoyed by motorists in other countries.

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

Motorists block the A12 near Kelvedon to protest against high fuel prices. Photo taken on July 4

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

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

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

Luxembourg is the only country that has chosen to cut petrol tax, but has done so less than the UK – reducing its duty by just 4.5 pence per litre.

British 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 higher per liter than all members of the European Union except Finland (190p) and Denmark (186p). Drivers in France pay around 23 pence a liter less than those in the UK.

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 fill and puts it above other countries that have historically charged more fuel than UK retailers, including France and the Netherlands. Down.

“The cost of living crisis shows no signs of ending soon 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’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war has made matters worse. A reduction in the use of Russian oil has increased demand from other producers, leading to higher prices.