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UK tops Europe with most expensive diesel despite duty cut

Despite a 5p-per-litre fuel duty cut, the UK now has the highest diesel prices in Europe, with diesel at 155p per litre, 6p more than its closest rivals, according to RAC data

The UK currently holds the title of having the most expensive diesel in Europe, despite implementing a 5p-per-litre fuel duty cut in March 2022.

New data from the RAC reveals that the average price of diesel at UK pumps stands at 155p per litre, making it 5p more expensive than both Ireland and Belgium, where diesel is priced at 150p per litre.

Although the fuel duty on both petrol and diesel was reduced from 57.95p to 52.95p per litre in spring 2022 to alleviate the impact of rising fuel prices due to geopolitical tensions, the UK still maintains the highest rate of duty on diesel in Europe, alongside Italy.

However, diesel in Italy is currently priced at 148p per litre, 7p cheaper than in the UK.

France’s duty rate is only 1p lower than that of the UK, yet diesel in France is priced at 146p per litre, 9p less than in the UK.

Similarly, Belgium, with a duty rate 2p lower than the UK, sells diesel at 150p per litre, 5p cheaper than in the UK.

Despite higher VAT rates in Italy, Belgium, and Ireland compared to the UK, these countries still offer lower diesel prices at the pumps.

Notably, Northern Ireland boasts lower fuel prices due to increased competition, with diesel priced at 144.9p per litre and petrol at 142.4p per litre.

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

“Despite the RAC bringing the issue to the attention of Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho in a letter just over a week ago, the price of diesel at the pump has barely fallen, even though the wholesale prices of petrol and diesel are identical at just 111p a litre.

“The average price of a litre of diesel should really be down to around the 145p level if retailers were charging fairer prices. The margin on petrol is also, in our view, unreasonably high at 13p. 

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

Energy Live News has contacted the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero for comment.

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