British motorists are still paying up to 43p a litre more than European drivers for fuel according to the Post Office Travel Money annual report into motoring.
Even drivers in neighbouring France pay 29p a litre less for their diesel compared to Britain. On a more positive note, travellers can expect significant savings this Summer due to generally falling fuel prices and a stronger pound against the Euro.
The RAC has also called on fuel retailers to reduce the price of diesel at the pumps as the wholesale cost is now almost the same as petrol, yet average forecourt prices are still 6p a litre more expensive. A year ago, when the gap between the wholesale prices was 2p a litre, diesel was only around 4.5p more expensive than petrol at the pumps.
The RAC is asking the fuel industry to explain to motorists why the retail price of diesel is so much greater than the wholesale price. Retailers usually operate by making around 4p per litre revenue on delivered fuel, but are now making 7.5p a litre on diesel – around an extra £1.92 revenue on an average 55-litre tank of diesel.
“Over the years we have been encouraged to choose diesel vehicles for environmental and fuel economy reasons which means they are the preferred option for many, particularly for businesses and high mileage drivers,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams. “Unfortunately, UK motorists now pay far more relatively for diesel than petrol because UK refineries are not geared up to meet demand and therefore we are subject to higher diesel prices as a result of having to import supplies from Russia and other countries.”
This year motorists have enjoyed a three-year average petrol price low of 130p a litre which lasted for 14 weeks from Sunday 19 January to 28 April. Unleaded is now 4p a litre cheaper than it was a year ago whilst diesel is nearly 3p less.