Chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling has announced a phased introduction of a 3p per litre rise in fuel duty in his Budget speech.
Today’s Budget from Alistair Darling - described by the BBC as 'possibly his last as chancellor' - has brought few surprises for motorists, but little welcome news either.
The 3p per litre rise in fuel duty, which could add more than £2 to the cost of refilling a large car, will be phased, so you won’t see much of the price increase at the pump until after the general election, likely to be held on 6 May.
Duty will rise by a penny in April, a penny in October, and once more before at the beginning of 2011.
Darling also confirmed fuel duty will continue to increase again as planned from 2014, according to the fuel price escalator.
Responding to the rise, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "At last there is some relief for cash-strapped motorists who over the past year have seen the pump price of unleaded leap by 26.4p to almost record levels.
"With nine out of ten passenger journeys taking place on the roads, and with 28.5 million cars in Britain, every household in the land has felt some financial pain. Drivers spend about 15% of their disposable income on motoring and when it comes to fuel prices, every penny really does count."
Fuel tax currently provides the government with around £25 billion a year, and Treasury officials claim that the real cost of fuel is less than ten years ago.