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​Powerful Pound Provides Driving Force For Holiday Motorists

Press release   •   Jun 20, 2015 00:01 BST

  • Holiday motorists can save up to 26 per cent on pump prices in Europe
  • European fuel has fallen up to 29p a litre for unleaded petrol and 32p for diesel in a year
  • Diesel drivers will fare best: almost two-thirds of 22 countries surveyed for the annual Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report offer a sub-£1 litre of diesel
  • UK is now the only country surveyed where diesel costs more than unleaded petrol

UK pump prices for unleaded petrol may be creeping up again from £1.07 a litre in January to £1.17p now, but holiday motorists will pay far less for their fuel in Europe this summer – especially diesel drivers. As one-in-five people say they intend to take to Europe’s roads1, the ninth annual Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent (www.postoffice.co.uk/holidaymotoring) report shows holidaymakers will be able to save up to 26 per cent on fuel costs compared with a year ago.

Holiday motorists will find that prices have fallen heavily in all 22 countries surveyed – but while UK drivers are paying 11-12 per cent less for fuel compared with a year ago, the European price falls are much larger2. 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 per cent lower than last summer and 26 per cent 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 we surveyed. It will pay to do some homework before travel and plot the holiday route that will cost least.”

The Post Office research found that the UK is now the only destination where diesel costs more than unleaded (+4p: £1.21 vs £1.17). Furthermore diesel has broken the sub-£1 barrier in 14 European driving destinations3. These include France, the country where the greatest numbers of UK drivers (57 per cent) get behind the wheel. Motorists will pay 91p for a litre of diesel, saving 18p (17 per cent) 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.

Andrew Brown said: “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.”

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. A litre of diesel fuel costs 89p, down 21 per cent year-on-year, and unleaded petrol is priced at 99p, a 17 per cent drop.

For the fourth year running Europe’s cheapest fuel can be found in Andorra. Holidaymakers will pay just 75p a litre for diesel and 86p for unleaded petrol. In addition to Andorra and Spain, others offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded petrol are Austria (90p), the Czech Republic (93p), Luxemburg (93p) and Cyprus (97p).

20 per cent of UK adults intend to drive overseas this year, either in their own car or in a hire car, according to the Post Office Travel Money research. 14 per cent of these holidaymakers will take their own car because it is cheaper than flying and 12 per cent 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 prices4.

Other findings in the Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report include:

Austria offers the biggest annual percentage price falls - 22 per cent for unleaded petrol (90p) and 26 per cent for diesel fuel (81p a litre). This means a saving of over £42 over last year on the cost of driving a car for 1,000 miles using diesel fuel (£122.88 compared with £165.17).

  • Norway remains the most expensive place to drive – although litre prices have dropped 25p for both unleaded petrol and diesel since last year. Drivers using unleaded in Norway will fare worst with a litre price of £1.39 to pay – 53p more than in Andorra, where the cheapest fuel in Europe can be found.

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

Diesel drivers will also pay more than 20p less than for unleaded petrol in Belgium (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).

Andrew Brown said: “Canny travellers can shave even more off their motoring costs by diverting from their holiday route into local towns to find a supermarket petrol station. Prices there are likely to be cheaper than on the roadside just as they are here in the UK. Remember to carry some foreign currency as not all petrol stations in rural locations accept plastic.”

Over 10,000 Post Office branches offer euros over the counter and more than 4,000 offer Turkish lira over the counter. Currencies for the other countries featured in the Motoring on the Continent report are among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger branches. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at the full Post Office network of 11,500 branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery

Ends

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