Continental fuel cost rise hits self-drive holidaymakers

Continental fuel cost rise hits self-drive holidaymakers

Self-drive holidaymakers in Europe this summer face can significantly higher fuel costs than a year ago, a study claims.

Unleaded pump prices are up 9p per litre year-on-year in Spain and 7p in France compared with no rise in the UK, according to the seventh annual Post Office Motoring on the Continent report.

The fall in the value of sterling against European currencies is responsible for the fuel price rises, rather than local pump price hikes.

The report reveals that the cost of unleaded petrol had fallen in over half of the 18 countries surveyed, while diesel was cheaper in more than 80% of the holiday motoring destinations.

However, once the sterling exchange rate was factored in, drivers face paying up to £19 extra for every 1,000 miles of unleaded motoring, and up to £11 more to drive 1,000 miles in a diesel car.

Motorists driving cars that use unleaded petrol face price increases of up to 12p per litre in 13 of the 18 countries surveyed, once the sterling exchange rate is applied.

Although Spain emerges as fifth cheapest, UK motorists face a 7.4% increase – the highest in the eurozone – and will pay £13.32 more for each 1,000 miles of motoring (£197.14).

The same number of motoring miles in France will also cost more than last year at £10.66. Furthermore, at a cost of £236.10 for 1,000 miles, holidaymakers driving through France will pay £38.96 (20%) more than in Spain because of the higher price per litre – £1.56 compared with £1.30.

The cheapest fuel will be found in Andorra and Luxembourg for the second year running. Despite a 4p rise in the cost of unleaded petrol in Andorra, one litre costs £1.17 – 35% less than in Norway. At £1.05 for a litre of diesel – up 2p – Andorra also comes closest to the £1 litre. Luxembourg is a close runner-up, costing £1.23 for a litre of unleaded petrol and £1.11 for diesel fuel.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The disparity between what motorists pay for diesel and for unleaded petrol in Europe is in marked contrast to the UK, where diesel has long been more expensive.

“This was just one of the anomalies we picked up in this year’s survey, another being a difference of up 48p a litre in fuel costs across the eurozone.

“It may not make sense for holidaymakers to plan big detours just a save a few pounds, but the higher price of motoring on the Continent this year means they should plan their routes carefully before setting out so they keep costs down.

“One of the ways in which holiday motorists can keep fuel costs to a minimum is to detour off the motorways to fill up at a supermarket. Just like in the UK, these can be the cheapest places to buy fuel, whereas motorists are likely to find the highest prices on the main roads.”


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