British Diesel Tax Is Highest In Europe

British motorists pay more tax on diesel than drivers in any other European Union country, according to government figures which also reveal that we pay at least 12p a litre more than other nations. Fuel duty and VAT account for 66 per cent of the pump price, says the Department of Energy and Climate Change. In some EU countries, these taxes make up only 42% of the price. The overall cost of diesel is also highest in the UK, with the average price of a litre 106.6p, of which 70.1p goes on tax and duty. One of the most expensive places to fill up is the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, where diesel costs up to 120p a litre. In the first three months of 2009, the Treasury collected a staggering £4.7bn in fuel duty. Luke Bosdet, head of consumer affairs at the AA, said: ‘Drivers are being hit at both ends – at the pump and through the added cost of getting goods to the shops. We are reaching the point where families cannot absorb any higher costs. ‘The Government has become heavily reliant on fuel duty and other road taxes to prop up the public finances. Economic recovery will come through consumer spending. If you take more out of family budgets, there is less being spent in the High Street.’ The Department of Energy report says the average price of a litre of diesel in the UK in September was 106.6p. This compares with 73.5p in Bulgaria, the lowest in the EU. Motorists in France pay on average 89.2p, of which 52.2p goes on tax. Germans pay 94p, of which 56.4p goes on tax. Figures for other EU states are: Denmark, 93.5p (52.4p tax); Ireland, 92.4p (52p); and Spain, 82.4p (41.3p). Last night, hauliers urged Chancellor Alistair Darling to cut diesel duty. Road Haulage Association chief executive Geoff Dunning said: ‘Any further fuel duty increase above the rate of inflation is a step backwards when the country is trying to recover from a recession.’ Sales of diesel vehicles have soared as drivers seek more fuel efficient cars. In 2008 they made up 43% of all cars sold in Britain – up from 27% in 2003. Unleaded petrol is also at its highest price for 2009, according to the AA. The average at the end of October was 107.14p a litre, beating the previous high of 107.03p. A Treasury spokesman said: ‘Fuel duty rates are still lower in real terms now than ten years ago.’ Taken from: