British drivers pay more for fuel

A new survey has shown that motorists in Britain pay far more for their fuel than drivers in any other major European vehicle-owning country.

Last month, Britons paid an average of £1.19 a litre for petrol while their Spanish counterparts were only being charged 96p, the poll by uSwitch.com found. And the difference in diesel prices was even greater, with a litre in Britain costing £1.33 compared with £1 in Spain.

Petrol and diesel were also cheaper in Germany, France and Italy, the survey showed.

In July, the average annual cost of petrol per person in the UK was £1,752, compared with just £1,409 in Spain. And over the past eight years, UK drivers have consistently paid 20% more for their petrol and diesel compared with motorists in the other four countries polled.

Only 48% of petrol bought in Spain goes to the government in tax, compared with 56% in Italy, 59% in the UK, 61% in France and 62% in Germany.

Mark Monteiro, from uSwitch.com, said: "We currently pay 7% more to fill our cars with petrol than our European neighbours. Cash-strapped consumers are juggling price increases across all fronts. Petrol prices are yet another rising cost to contend with, adding further strain to already stretched finances."

Copyright © PA Business 2008