Europe's Priciest Petrol revealed
According to the AA fuel price report for June 2011 the average price for a litre of standard unleaded petrol in the UK is £1.36 per litre, this is actually a slight decrease on last month, but prices are predicted to be on the rise again soon.
However, you might be surprised to hear that the UK is ranked only eleventh highest in the price table for unleaded fuel with Norway sitting at the top of the table with an average of £1.64 – almost 30p more per litre!
Despite being the third largest petrol exporter in the world, Norway’s fuel prices top the charts in Europe. Efforts to make the country greener have resulted in two taxes being levied on petrol – 48p tax on the fuel and a 9p carbon tax per litre added on top.
If you travel to the bottom of the table however, you can expect to pay over 50 pence less as currently in Estonia they are only paying £1.06. Petrol prices in the Baltic States are among the cheapest in the EU, although prices do vary considerably from country to country.
The table below shows the top 13 in UK pence per litre for petrol and diesel from the AA report with Estonia added on at the bottom:
Just as you may be feeling a little better about the costs at the UK pumps, shift continents to America and you will undoubtedly be disheartened to hear that our driving counterparts in the United States are only paying 60.44 pence - less than half of what we pay here in the UK!
The biggest factor in these price disparities is government policy. Many European nations are taxed heavily on petrol to discourage private vehicle use and the tax is used to fund a variety of things including public transport. According to sources in some European countries taxation can equate to as much as 75 per cent of the cost of the fuel. In the UK the taxman takes a double cut as VAT is added on to the cost of petrol after fuel tax is applied – effectively you are paying a tax on a tax!
The US government on the other hand, has historically kept these taxes low - rumoured to have stemmed from the days where cheap mobility was key to expansion – but this is reflected in the oil consumption levels for the country as the US was ranked at number one in the world for oil consumption in 2009/2010.*
A spokesperson from popular car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk said, “Drivers should shop around for their fuel in the much the same way as we recommend that they should shop around and gather car insurance quotes as prices vary from station to station – motorway service stations are particularly pricey. Other factors to consider are reducing your fuel consumption by slowing down, limiting the weight in your car and leaving a good gap between you and the driver in front to reduce breaking and accelerating. You could also look to save money in other areas too – making sure you use a comparison site like Tiger.co.uk to shop around for cheap car insurance will provide peace of mind that you are getting a good deal on your car insurance which softens the blow at the pump a little”.
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