British drivers are paying more tax on fuel than EU - surprised?

3 March 2014

fuel gauge If you drove into work today or, indeed, drove anywhere in the past few lifetimes, you'll know that fuel for your car is not cheap. Of course, you're not daft and you know that it is a fossil fuel so it won't exactly be given away... but you'll know, like everyone has always known, that British people pay too much for it.

So with that, stating the obvious but at least backing you up when you moan about it, RAC Foundation research has been done for the millionth time, pointing out that in Britain, we pay a higher rate of tax on fuel than any other person in the European Union.

61% of the price of a litre of unleaded petrol bought on these shores, goes to the government as fuel duty and VAT. If you have a diesel engine, it's 59%. This study has been timed just as George Osborne prepares his budget, to be issued later this month. Seems likely that there won't be any reprieve for drivers in that. Seeing as the government have frozen fuel duty since 2011, that will probably see a small rise. Meanwhile, the other 27 states that make up the EU will be pouring fuel down grids for a laugh. Possibly.

The interesting thing is, before tax, Britain actually has some of the cheapest fuel in Europe. All the hikes come from levies. Meanwhile, over in Luxembourg, they're paying 98p per litre and in Bulgaria, they've got the lowest tax at 45 per cent.

Prof Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "On 19th March the Chancellor will deliver his budget. He has made much of the fact that fuel duty has not risen for three years. However this has made little impact on the huge proportion of tax the UK’s 36 million drivers pay on their fuel."

"The irony is that if you take tax out of the equation we actually have the fifth cheapest diesel in the EU and the second cheapest petrol."

TOPICS:   Motoring

2 comments

  • biscuitsmakeyoufat
    To pay for Eric Pickles biscuits and such like.
  • loishamalton
    And the question is. Why is diesel so much cheaper on the continent, and more expensive than petrol. You would think the government world encourage us to use more fuel economic cars. Especially ones that can be converted to biofuels if needed. Probably because they think they can hit up all the continental haulage firms, which naturally fitted extra large fuel tanks, fill up in france and cruise round the uk laughing and flinging petit filous out the window. Basically the government want us all to take the cheap, reliable and comfortable trains which exist nowhere except the dreams and wishes of commuters. Then they can razz up and down the roads without being bothered by us annoying plebians in our knackered mondeos.

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