29 May 2024

The UK sees highest diesel price in Europe

UK fleets are paying more for diesel than their European counterparts, despite the 5p-a-litre fuel duty discount introduced in March 2022.

According to new data from the RAC, the average price of diesel at UK pumps is currently 155p per litre. This is 5p more expensive than in Ireland and Belgium, where the average price is 150p.

Despite the reduction of duty on both petrol and diesel from 57.95p to 52.95p in spring 2022 to mitigate rising fuel costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK still has the highest diesel duty rate in Europe, matched only by Italy.

In Italy, however, diesel is still 7p cheaper than in the UK, averaging 148p per litre. France, with a duty rate only a penny lower than the UK's (52p), has an average diesel price of 146p, which is 9p less.

Belgium’s duty is 2p less than the UK's at 51p, yet diesel there is 5p cheaper, averaging 150p per litre.

Additionally, although France shares the same VAT rate as the UK at 20%, Italy and Belgium have higher VAT rates at 22% and 21% respectively, yet still offer lower diesel prices.

In Ireland, where diesel costs 150p per litre, duty is 6p less at 47p per litre. Despite having a higher VAT rate of 23%, Ireland's diesel remains 5p cheaper than in the UK.

Fleet managers are urged to be as thorough as possible when looking at fleet data and plan in advance for longer journeys. Depending on the size of your fleet, fuel cards are also a great option for receiving cheaper rates.