Currently reading: Diesel prices in UK are the highest in Europe
The cost of filling up with diesel in the UK is more expensive than anywhere else in Europe, new research has found

The price of filling up with diesel in the UK is higher than in the rest of Europe, new research has found. 

A new study by the RAC Foundation has found that the UK's average diesel price of £1.13 per litre tops the table of the most expensive places to fill up in Europe, well ahead of second-place Italy (£1.10 per litre), and significantly more expensive than in Sweden (£1.09) and Denmark (£1.03).

According to the study, the cheapest places to fill up with diesel in Europe are Lithuania (£0.74), Poland (£0.77) and Luxembourg (£0.78).

The full table of results is listed below.

  1. UK - £1.13 per litre
  2. Italy - £1.10
  3. Sweden - £1.09
  4. Denmark - £1.03
  5. Portugal - £1.03
  6. The Netherlands - £1.01
  7. Belgium - £1.00
  8. Finland - £0.99
  9. Ireland - £0.98
  10. Malta - £0.97
  11. Cyprus - £0.96
  12. France - £0.94
  13. Romania - £0.94
  14. Slovenia - £0.94
  15. Croatia - £0.93
  16. Germany - £0.92
  17. Estonia - £0.88
  18. Greece - £0.88
  19. Hungary - £0.87
  20. Spain - £0.87
  21. Austria - £0.85
  22. Slovakia - £0.85
  23. Bulgaria - £0.82
  24. Czech Republic - £0.82
  25. Latvia - £0.81
  26. Luxembourg - £0.78
  27. Poland - £0.77
  28. Lithuania - £0.74

The RAC Foundation says it may be cheaper for drivers heading to Europe this summer to fill up with diesel on the continent, rather than in the UK. That said, the driver of a Ford Focus - which has a 55-litre fuel tank - can still expect to pay around £3.30 more to fill up in Europe now than they would have done a week before the EU referendum. Since the UK's vote to leave the EU last month, the value of the pound against the Euro has dropped, meaning bigger bills overall for drivers travelling abroad.

The reason why the UK's diesel price is so high, the RAC Foundation explained, is because it is the only country in Europe where the duty (tax) paid on diesel is the same as that for petrol. The tax rate for both fuels is currently 57.9p per litre.

It's a different picture when it comes to petrol prices, however, where the UK is only the eighth most expensive country to fill up in, with an average price of £1.12 per litre. The most expensive country is The Netherlands, which charges £1.29 per litre, and the cheapest country is Poland, where drivers can expect to pay just £0.81 per litre.

In the weeks following the Brexit referendum, motoring bodies, including the RAC roadside assistance group, warned that fuel prices in the UK could rise by as much as 5%. In reality, however, prices have remained largely stable, with the drop in the value of the pound against the US dollar offset by falling oil prices.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation said: What might surprise drivers is that even allowing for the slump in the value of sterling they might still be better off buying diesel on the continent.


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“The key message is that pump prices are determined by a whole host of factors. The exchange rate is one of them. The price of oil is another. But taxation is perhaps the most important of all. Before tax, the UK actually has only the 22nd most expensive petrol in the 28 member states of the EU. With tax, we jump to 8th in the league table. For diesel the UK is 23rd before tax, but we soar to the top of the list once tax is added.”

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eseaton 28 July 2016

So people, I am a fuel

So people, I am a fuel retailer with 3 forecourts. The facts are these, for better or worse. I am currently charging 109.9 for petrol and diesel, and make 4.22 pence per litre for petrol and 3.63 pence per litre for diesel. I sell around 10000 litres a day per site, so make around £400 gross profit from fuel, before costs. The cost of running a forecourt is £800 per day minimum. The problem for our industry is that supermarkets sell fuel at or below cost as an inducement to visit their stores. Whatever you do, imagine a scenario where 4 of the most aggressive retailers on earth do exactly what you do, with zero profit expectation. Not appealing really is it? 25 years ago, there were 19000 forecourts. Now there are around 7000. Why?
L320 29 July 2016


The perception is that supermarket fuel is low grade. I have paid for Shell V-power diesel for years: I can't say scientifically that it is worth it because I have no way of doing a meaningful comparison.The point is, buying fuel for your car can't be avoided but I believe it is misguided to head for the cheapest option - as with many things in life, you only get what you pay for.
289 30 July 2016

@ eeaton

....this is a crock of shit.
there are plenty of retailing situations where there is a 'loss leader'.
I can hardly think of a single petrol station which relies on the sale of petrol for its revenue. The petrol is just what draws people in so that the customer can be tempted with other retail opportunities.
Please don't insult readers intelligence.
xxxx 28 July 2016

Best buy

Always buy quality petrol from the Big boys e.g. Shell, BP etc, find one near a Supermarket petrol retailer though as the big boys have to near as dammit match the Supermarket price. hey presto quality petrol at supermarket prices
Will86 28 July 2016


Like everyone I would rather pay less for fuel, but the price variations between different garages are surely down to supply and demand. Fuel on motorways for example costs more because there are fewer filling stations and they are convenient, but no one is forcing you to fill up there.
289 28 July 2016

@ will86

Well Motorway services are an extreme case with a captive audience. I still believe that fuel should be the same price everywhere as it is a necessity, not a luxury good.
Motorway services will have you believe that the high cost of land adjacent to a motorway is the cause....I would counter that this should be cheap land as it is blighted by the motorway, and anyway whatever the cost the turnover of both fuel and food makes motorway services a gold mine and should give a quicker return on investment than a country station.
There is however no defence for similar size stations in similar size towns with the same brand of fuel charging 5-6p difference. This is a clear case of them looking at how much competition there is in the area, and therefore what they can get away with. Its called extortion!