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Pump prices fall across Europe for holiday motorists despite slide in Sterling

Press Release   •   May 07, 2016 00:01 BST


  • Low cost of crude oil brings pump prices tumbling down across Europe despite weaker pound (www.postoffice.co.uk/holidaymotoring)
  • Biggest falls felt in Switzerland (unleaded petrol) and Greece (diesel)
  • Andorra offers cheapest fuel for the holiday motorist
  • Three-quarters of the 20 European countries surveyed offer sub-£1 litre of diesel
  • Pump prices have plummeted by 15-31 per cent over two years

    UK tourists driving in Europe will pay less at the pump this summer in every popular motoring holiday destination – despite sterling’s slip from last year’s highs. The 10th annual Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report reveals that heavy falls in the cost of crude oil have triggered a second successive year of cuts to the litre price of both unleaded petrol and diesel fuel across 20 European destinations surveyed¹.

    The biggest fall has been on the price of a litre of unleaded petrol in Switzerland, a favourite destination for one-in-eight (12 per cent) of those who drive abroad on holiday².The Post Office report reveals that they will pay 20p less a litre, a fall of 17 per cent on last year’s low prices.At 95p a litre, Switzerland is one of eight destinations offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded petrol and, at £144.52 for 1,000 miles of motoring, this will save £28 on last year’s cost.

    Sterling may be worth around four per cent less against the euro than a year ago, but in the 14 eurozone countries surveyed by Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one-in-four of all UK foreign exchange transactions, motorists can expect to save between six and 15 per cent on 2015 pump prices.

    The cheapest unleaded petrol is in Andorra, where a litre costs just 82p – 26p less than in the UK, despite hefty pump price falls in recent months at home. The other destinations offering a sub-£1 litre of unleaded petrol are Austria (84p), Cyprus (86p), Luxembourg (87p), Spain (93p), Slovenia (96p) and Croatia (98p).Norway remains the most expensive place to drive at a cost of £1.32 for a litre of unleaded petrol, 61 per cent more than in Andorra.

    Forty-four per cent of those surveyed have driven abroad and France is the most popular motoring destination for over half (51 per cent) of them.Prices across the English Channel are down 7p a litre to £1.05, making it cheaper to fill the tank in France than in England.

    Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said “The price falls in Europe come as a surprise, given last year’s potent combination of cheap crude oil and the powerful pound. At best we expected fuel costs to be on par with last year’s low pump prices, but further falls in the cost of crude mean UK motorists can bank on a big boost to their driving power.

    “This is even more apparent when you compare fuel costs now with those in 2014.After two years of low oil prices, motorists will now pay between 15 and 29 per cent less for unleaded petrol, depending on which European countries they are visiting.”

    Drivers of diesel cars will fare even better in Europe – with double-digit percentage price falls in 14 of the countries surveyed by Post Office Travel Money.Despite an eight per cent fall in the cost of a litre of diesel fuel in the UK, bringing it in line with the price of unleaded petrol at £1.08, Norway is the only country where prices are higher (£1.17).

    Three-quarters of the countries surveyed now offer a sub-£1 litre of diesel.UK drivers will pay least – just 66p a litre - in Andorra, which jointly recorded the biggest fall of 15 per cent in a year.Prices are also down 15 per cent to 88p in Ireland, another popular destination for a quarter of holiday motorists.

    Over two years the drop in diesel prices is even more dramatic than for unleaded petrol.Every destination surveyed by the Post Office is charging 20 per cent or less for diesel fuel than in 2014 – rising to over 30 per cent less in Austria and Andorra.

    Andrew Brown said: “While the lower pump prices will benefit holiday drivers throughout Europe, careful planning can shave even more off motoring costs. Save money by planning routes and fuel stops in advance. Fill up after reaching the continent to take advantage of lower fuel costs in ferry ports, then divert from motorways and trunk roads into local towns.Supermarket fuel prices will be cheaper than on the roadside just like in the UK.

    “Remember that plastic is not universally accepted in European petrol stations so it is worth getting foreign currency before you go.You can order it online at Postoffice.co.uk or from your local Post Office.”

    The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, offering euros on demand at over 10,000 branches.The other currencies that feature in the Motoring on the Continent report are among 30 leading ones available over the counter at 1,600 larger Post Office Branches.A total of up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 branches or online at postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.

    ENDS

    For more information, please contact:

    Gabrielle O’Gara Post Office Press Office 0207 250 2534 / 07718 977702

    Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk

    Notes to Editors:

¹ Fuel prices for the Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report were sourced from fuel-prices-europe.info and cross-checked with Europe’s Energy Portal and PetrolPrices.com. Post Office Travel Money surveyed unleaded petrol and diesel prices per litre and calculated the cost of motoring for 1,000 miles (based on 30 miles per gallon/4.55 litres), comparing 2016 prices with 2015 and 2014. Data for both tables relates to exchange rates on 28 April 2016 and the cost per litre is to the nearest pence. Figures in brackets relate to position in 2015 table.

Cost of unleaded petrol:

CountryCost for 1,000 milesLitre price +/- since 2015% +/- vs 2015% +/- vs 2014
1.Andorra (1)£123.54£0.82-7p-8%-23%
2.Austria (2)£127.87£0.84-9p-10%-27%
3.Cyprus (4) £130.54£0.86-14p-14%-29%
4.Luxembourg (3)£131.87£0.87-9p-9%-22%
5.Spain (5)£140.86£0.93-9p-9%-22%
6.Switzerland (11)£144.52£0.95-20p-17%-20%
7.Slovenia (6)£145.19£0.96-8p-8%-23%
8.Croatia (7)£148.52£0.98-9p-8%-20%
9.Greece (16)£157.17£1.04-18p-15%-23%
10.Ireland (8)£157.18£1.04-6p-6%-20%
11.Germany (10)£158.18£1.04-10p-9%-22%
12.France (9)£158.84£1.05-7p-6%-17%
13.Belgium (13)£162.50£1.07-11p-9%-23%
14.UK (15)£162.88£1.08-8p-8%-18%
15.Sweden (12)£169.83£1.12-1p-1%-17%
16.Italy (17)£176.82£1.17-13p-10%-22%
17.Portugal (14) £178.16£1.18-2p-2%-15%
18.Denmark (18)£185.81£1.23-7p-5%-17%
19.Netherlands (19)£190.48£1.26-8p-6%-18%
20.Norway (20)£200.47£1.32-14p-10%-20%

Cost of diesel fuel:

CountryCost per 1,000 milesLitre cost +/- since 2015% +/- vs 2015% +/- since 2014
1.Andorra (1)£99.23£0.66-12p-15%-31%
2.Luxembourg (2) £108.23£0.72-11p-13%-28%
3.Austria (3)£115.87£0.76-8p-10%-30%
4.Greece (7)£115.88£0.77-18p-19%-29%
5.Spain (4)£122.88£0.81-11p-12%-28%
6.Cyprus (12)£127.54£0.84-15p-15%-30%
7.Slovenia (6) £128.21£0.85-10p-11%-26%
8.Germany (8)£130.54£0.86-10p-10%-27%
9.Ireland (13)£132.87£0.88-15p-15%-29%
10.France (5)£133.20£0.88-6p-6%-20%
11.Croatia (11)£134.20£0.88-10p-10%-22%
12.Belgium (9)£140.19£0.92-6p-6%-24%
13.Netherlands (14) £144.19£0.95-10p-10%-25%
14.Portugal (10)£144.86£0.96-2p-2%-20%
15.Switzerland (17)£148.85£0.98-15p-13%-20%
16.Denmark (16)£151.85£1.00-8p-7%-24%
17.Italy (18)£152.85£1.01-17p-14%-28%
18.Sweden (15)£159.51£1.05-1p-1%-20%
19.UK (19) £162.88£1.08-8p-8%-22%
20.Norway (20)£177.16£1.17-14p-11%-22%

² Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016) among 2,099 UK adults found that 44 per cent have driven in Europe.Among those, France (51%), Spain (42%) and Ireland (25%) are the most popular destinations, while 12% have driven in Switzerland.

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