Rising cost of crude oil pushes up pump prices in European motoring holiday destinations (www.postoffice.co.uk/holidaymotoring)

A litre of unleaded petrol will cost 16p more than last year in France, the most popular holiday motoring destination. Diesel has risen by even more: 21p

Filling the tank costs least in Andorra: 95p for diesel and £1.08 for unleaded

Diesel drivers will pay up to 28p less than for unleaded but 3p more in the UK

But pump prices are down by as much as 19 per cent over a five-year period

It is not just in the UK that pump prices have been showing their sharpest monthly rises in over a decade1. The 12thannual Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent Report on prices for unleaded petrol and diesel fuel in 20 European holiday destinationsreveals that these have risen significantly in most European countries too, spelling bad news for the one-in-nine holidaymakers planning to drive a car in Europe this year2.

Post Office researchers found that motorists can expect to pay up to 16p more a litre for unleaded petrol than a year ago and 21p more for diesel, depending where they drive in Europe3. However, the percentage extra they will pay for unleaded petrol in most countries is lower than in the UK where the average cost of a litre stands at £1.28, 10.3 per cent more than last June. Only Andorra (+11.3 per cent to £1.08), Austria (up 11 per cent to £1.11) and France (up 13 per cent to £1.39) recorded bigger percentage rises.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The rising cost of crude oil rather than the sterling exchange rate against European currencies is responsible for the fuel price rises. The fact that sterling is a bit stronger than a year ago means that price rises in Europe are generally lower than in the UK – especially outside the Eurozone in Switzerland and Sweden.”

The biggest price rise is in France, the most popular motoring holiday destination, where over half (51 per cent) of British motorists have driven in the past. The cost of a litre of unleaded petrol has risen by 16p (+13 per cent) over the past 12 months. As a result, drivers can expect to pay £24.64 more for 1,000 miles of motoring (£210.79). Although diesel is 7p cheaper in France than unleaded petrol, diesel drivers face higher prices rises of 21p (18.9 per cent) so a 1,000 miles of diesel motoring will cost £200.13 – £32.63 more than last June.

There is better news for motorists planning trips to newly-popular Slovenia and Croatia – three of the 20 destinations surveyed where unleaded petrol prices have fallen year-on-year. A litre of unleaded petrol is 1p cheaper at £1.13 in Slovenia and costs 2p less in Croatia at £1.17. There are even greater gains for motorists driving across Sweden. They will benefit from a 14p fall in the cost of unleaded petrol to £1.20 a litre and a 13p drop in diesel prices to £1.18.

The cheapest fuel will again be found in Andorra. Despite an 11p rise, a litre of unleaded petrol costs just £1.08 – 11p less than in neighbouring Spain and 52p less than in Norway, the most expensive country in the survey. At 95p for a litre of diesel – up 12p on last year – Andorra is the only destination where diesel has dipped below the £1 litre. Luxembourg comes close, with diesel costing £1 and unleaded petrol priced at £1.14.

As in previous years, the report picked up big differences between the cost of diesel and unleaded petrol across Europe although the gap between the two fuels is narrowing because diesel prices have risen more steeply than unleaded petrol. Motorists driving a diesel car will pay considerably less in almost all the countries surveyed than for unleaded petrol4. The only exceptions are Switzerland (+2p) and the UK (+3p). By contrast, diesel costs 28p a litre less than unleaded petrol in the Netherlands.

Fuel costs may have risen in the past 12 months but, looked at in the longer term, they have fallen sharply compared with five years ago when oil prices were lower and sterling was weaker. Post Office Travel Money compared its 2018 Motoring on the Continent Report prices with those collected in 2013 and found that the cost of both unleaded petrol and diesel is lower in the majority of destinations, with the biggest fall of 19 per cent in Sweden.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “It may not make sense for holidaymakers to plan big detours just a 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. It will pay to do some homework in advance because our latest report has found a difference of up to 52p a litre in fuel costs across the Eurozone.

“One of the ways in which holiday motorists can keep fuel costs to a minimum is to divert off the motorways to fill up at a supermarket. Just like in the UK, these can be the cheapest places to buy fuel, whereas motorists are likely to find the highest prices on main roads.

“Remember that plastic is not universally accepted in European petrol stations so it is worth getting foreign currency before you go. You can order travel cash 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. Euros can also be ordered online at postoffice.co.uk for same day ‘click and collect’ at almost 3,000 branches or for home delivery/next day collection at any Post Office branch 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 80 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 branches or order travel money online for next day branch or home delivery.