It’s official – UK has most expensive diesel in Europe

Gareth Herincx

21 mins ago
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Service station, May 2024

The average price of diesel at UK pumps is now higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to new data from the RAC.

Despite the current 5p-a-litre fuel duty discount introduced in March 2022, the average price of 155p is 5p more expensive than both Ireland and Belgium, for instance.

Although duty on both petrol and diesel was cut from 57.95p to 52.95p in spring 2022 to ease the burden of rapidly rising fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK still has the highest rate of duty on diesel in Europe alongside Italy.

Despite this, diesel in Italy is still currently 7p cheaper than the UK, at an average of 148p a litre

France’s duty rate is only the equivalent of a penny lower than the UK (52p) but its average price for diesel is 9p less at 146p.

“Having the most expensive diesel in Europe despite the current 5p duty cut is a very dubious honour,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“This is explained by RAC Fuel Watch calculations which show the average retailer margin on diesel – that’s the difference between the delivered wholesale price and the retail price before VAT – is 18p. That’s a shocking 10p more than the long-term average of 8p.

“We can see no good reason why retailers in Great Britain aren’t cutting their prices at the pumps.

“It’s important to note that in Northern Ireland, where there is greater competition for fuels in the absence of supermarket dominance, the average price of diesel is just 144.9p – 10p less than the UK average, and petrol is 6p cheaper at 142.4p.”

By way of comparison, the UK’s petrol is only the 11th most expensive in Europe at an average of 149p. The priciest petrol can be found in Denmark at an average of 175p. That said, duty in Denmark is far higher than in the UK – the equivalent of 59p, with VAT at 25%.

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