Continental fuel costs lower than previous year, finds study

People taking self-drive holidays on the Continent this summer can expect to see their fuel costs drop by more than a quarter over last year.

Holidaymakers will be able to save up to 26% on fuel costs as pump prices have fallen heavily in all 22 countries surveyed by Post Office Travel Money.

Drivers using diesel cars will pay even less than those powered by unleaded petrol.

The UK is now the only country in Europe where diesel costs more than unleaded, according to the study.

The cost of diesel has dropped below £1 a litre in 14 European destinations, including France, where motorists will pay 91p, saving 18p on last summer’s pump price, and 30p less than in the UK. By comparison, unleaded petrol costs 16p more than diesel at £1.07.

Spain, another country popular with UK holiday motorists (47 per cent of those who have driven abroad have done so in Spain), has also registered big falls.

Spain is even better value with a litre of diesel costing 89p, down 21% year-on-year, and unleaded petrol is priced at 99p, a 17% drop.

Andorra offers Europe’s cheapest fuel for the fourth year running with diesel costing 75p a litre while unleaded petrol is 86p.

Others offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded fuel are Austria (90p), the Czech Republic (93p), Luxemburg (93p) and Cyprus (97p).

Norway remains the most expensive place to drive, even though prices have dropped 25p a litre for both unleaded petrol and diesel year-on-year. Drivers using unleaded will fare worst with a price of £1.39 a litre – 53p more than in Andorra.

Austria offers the biggest percentage price falls – 22% for unleaded (90p) and 26% for diesel fuel (81p), which means motorists can save more than £42 on a 1,000 miles of diesel driving.

The biggest differential between unleaded petrol and diesel is in Holland where drivers will pay 28p less a litre (£1.02) for diesel than for unleaded petrol (£1.30).

Diesel also costs more than 20p less in Belgium over 2014 (95p vs £1.15), Denmark (£1.06 vs £1.27p), Greece (92p vs £1.18), Portugal (95p vs £1.16) and Turkey (£1.05 vs £1.29p).

The study shows that 20% of UK adults plan to drive overseas this year. Fourteen 14 per cent of these holidaymakers will take their own car because it is cheaper than flying and 12% because they want to take advantage of lower fuel prices.  A further three per cent said they had never driven abroad before but would be doing so this year because of the lower pump prices.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “People planning European motoring trips can bank on the cost of a litre of unleaded petrol being up to 22% lower than last summer and 26% less for diesel.

“Prices are up to 31p a litre cheaper than in the UK and this rises to 46p for diesel. That’s because diesel is cheaper than unleaded in almost every country.”

He added: “France is particularly popular with campers and with holidaymakers staying in rural gites for their summer holiday. Whichever type of fuel they use to reach their destination, they will benefit when they fill up after crossing the channel.”

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