Rising European petrol cost alert

PetrolMotorists will have to dig deeper into their pockets to drive on the Continent this summer.

The cost of petrol has risen in most European countries compared with a year ago, a survey by Post Office Travel Money showed.

The rise is particularly sharp, at 7.4%, in Spain, while the increase in another country where Britons often take their cars - France - is 4.7%.

Of 17 European countries surveyed, only Croatia (down 3p a litre), the Czech Republic (down 1p), Switzerland (down 3p) and Denmark (down 7p) had cheaper petrol in April 2013 than in April 2012. The least-expensive European petrol is to be found in Andorra (117p a litre), followed by Luxembourg (123p) and Croatia (124p).
Spain's petrol is 130p a litre - 9p more than in April 2012, while petrol in France is 7p up on last year at 156p.

The most expensive of the countries surveyed for petrol was Norway where prices at the pumps have pushed up 7.2% to 179p a litre.

Diesel, which is generally much cheaper in Europe than the UK, has nevertheless risen in most of the 17 countries - going up 6.1% in Spain to 122p a litre and rising 3% in France to 139p a litre. Andorra has the cheapest diesel, at 105p a litre and Norway the dearest, at 164p.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: "The disparity between what motorists pay for diesel and for unleaded petrol in Europe is in marked contrast to the UK, where diesel has long been more expensive.

"This was just one of the anomalies we picked up in this year's survey, another being a difference of up 48p a litre in fuel costs across the eurozone."

He continued: "It may not make sense for holidaymakers to plan big detours just to save a few pounds, but the higher price of motoring on the Continent this year means they should plan their routes carefully before setting out so they keep costs down."