Holidaymakers face 40 per cent petrol hike in European hotspots

Andorra and Austria are the cheapest places to fill the tank on holiday

Updated: 

Man pumping gas

British holidaymakers heading to Europe by car are being urged to fill up their tanks before arriving in the continent as fuel prices have risen by up to 40 per cent for unleaded petrol and 51 per cent for diesel over the past 12 months.

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Research by Post Office Travel Money found that one in eight tourists are planning a motoring trip and many more will hire a car while abroad.

The cheapest fuel is found in Andorra, where unleaded petrol costs just 95p a litre diesel is even less at 81p. This is around 40 per cent less than in Norway, the most expensive place to drive, according to the survey of fuel costs in 20 European countries including the UK.

Austria, one of the most popular touring destinations, is second cheapest for unleaded petrol at 98p, while diesel costs 90p a litre.

Although the cost of unleaded petrol has risen to £1.02 in Luxembourg, 15p more than a year ago, and to £1.06 in Spain, up 13p on June 2016 levels, pump prices for diesel remain below £1 in both countries. In Luxembourg, the second cheapest country in the survey, a litre of diesel costs 86p. In Spain, it costs 97p.

Post Office Travel Money found that the increase in crude oil costs, which has resulted in higher pump prices in the UK than a year ago, has been compounded across Europe by the fall in sterling's value since last June. This means that while fuel costs have risen eight per cent over the past 12 months in the UK, the European increases have been much higher.

The biggest increase at the pumps has been in Greece where a litre of unleaded petrol has surged from £1.04 last year to £1.46, a rise of 42p. Although the cost of diesel is far lower at £1.16 a litre, this represents a 39p – or 51 per cent - increase from 77p a year ago to £1.16.

Meanwhile, the biggest gap between unleaded petrol and diesel is in the Netherlands where motorists will pay 32p less for diesel. UK tourists hiring a car in Greece will be well advised to make it one that uses diesel fuel as this will cost them 30p less a litre than for unleaded petrol.

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