UK motorists are paying the highest rate of tax on diesel in all of Europe, while petrol is only taxed more in Sweden, the RAC Foundation reveals.
Despite three years of fuel duty freezes, 59% of the money drivers pay for diesel in Britain goes on tax - compared to 56% in Sweden and 55% in Italy.
As for petrol, UK and Dutch motorists pay 61% in tax on top of other motoring expenses such ascar insurance , second only to the 62% paid in Sweden.
The survey involving 28 European nations discovered diesel drivers in Luxembourg and petrol car owners in Bulgaria pay the least tax, 41% and 45% respectively.
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "We're only about two weeks away from the Budget and the Chancellor 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. The oil companies and retailers are often blamed for soaring pump prices but these figures reveal that's not the whole picture," he said.
"With the poorest car owners now spending as much as a third of their income on buying and running a vehicle, and with a record number of people now commuting to work by car, there are plenty of reasons why the Chancellor should consider going beyond his promise to continue the fuel duty freeze and actually cut the rate further."
Copyright Press Association 2014