Fuel price pushes down costs of European self-drive holidays

Fuel price pushes down costs of European self-drive holidays

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People taking European self-drive holidays this summer will pay less for fuel despite the slump in the value of sterling since last year, a new report suggests.

Steep falls in the cost of crude oil have triggered a second successive year of cuts to the litre price of both unleaded petrol and diesel fuel across 20 European destinations surveyed by Post Office Travel Money.

The biggest fall – of 20p or 17% - has been on the price of a litre of unleaded petrol in Switzerland, a favourite destination for one-in-eight (12%) of those who drive abroad on holiday.

At 95p a litre, Switzerland is one of eight destinations offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded petrol and, at £144.52 for 1,000 miles of motoring, this will save £28 on last year’s cost.

Sterling may be worth around 4% less against the euro than a year ago, but motorists can expect to save between 6% and 15% on 2015 pump prices in the 14 eurozone countries surveyed.

The cheapest unleaded petrol is in Andorra, where a litre costs just 82p – 26p less than in the UK. The other destinations offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded petrol are Austria (84p), Cyprus (86p), Luxembourg (87p), Spain (93p), Slovenia (96p) and Croatia (98p).

Norway remains the most expensive place to drive at a cost of £1.32 for a litre of unleaded petrol, 61% more than in Andorra.

Prices in France, the most popular motoring destination in Europe from the UK, are down 7p a litre to £1.05, making it cheaper than England.

Drivers of diesel cars will fare even better in Europe – with double-digit percentage price falls in 14 countries surveyed.

Despite an eight per cent fall in the cost of a litre of diesel fuel in the UK, bringing it in line with the price of unleaded petrol at £1.08, Norway is the only country where prices are higher (£1.17).

Three-quarters of the countries surveyed now offer a sub-£1 litre of diesel.

UK drivers will pay least – just 66p a litre - in Andorra, which jointly recorded the biggest fall of 15% in a year. Prices are also down 15% to 88p in Ireland, a popular destination for a quarter of holiday motorists.

The drop in diesel prices is even more dramatic than for unleaded petrol over two years. Every destination surveyed by the Post Office is charging 20% or less for diesel fuel than in 2014 – rising to as much as 30% less in Austria and Andorra.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The price falls in Europe come as a surprise, given last year’s potent combination of cheap crude oil and the powerful pound.

“At best we expected fuel costs to be on par with last year’s low pump prices, but further falls in the cost of crude mean UK motorists can bank on a big boost to their driving power.

“This is even more apparent when you compare fuel costs now with those in 2014. After two years of low oil prices, motorists will now pay between 15% and 29% less for unleaded petrol, depending on which European countries they are visiting.”

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