High Fuel Charges, Home or Away

Motorhome enthusiasts looking to take their holidays across the channel this year have been warned to expect little respite in fuel charges as petrol and diesel prices soar to record highs in many European holiday destinations.

The report from the Post Office says that fuel prices have risen by over 80% in the last five years for most countries on the continent, and that drivers will encounter the highest prices in Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain. Motorhome owners will find themselves paying around £1.50 a litre for diesel and an incredible £1.67 for petrol. The cheapest fuel in Western Europe can be found in Luxembourg and Andorra where fuel is slightly cheaper than the UK, but not to any great extent.

Surprisingly enough less than 10% of drivers questioned said the fuel prices would deter them from cancelling a trip overseas, with most saying paying extra for fuel, motorhome insurance cover and modifications to their vehicle are part and parcel of the cost of a holiday adventure.

Andrew Brown, head of the Post Office Travel Money section, who conducted the survey, said “Our research shows that UK holidaymakers are not deterred by the high fuel prices they will find when driving in some countries this summer. However, it also revealed that some advance route planning with petrol prices in mind could help them cut costs. A good tip is to fill up before leaving the UK if travelling to France or Belgium in a petrol car, divert into Luxembourg if travelling south through eastern France or detour into Andorra en route to Spain. If you are driving a diesel car, fill up as soon as you arrive on the Continent as it is much cheaper in Europe than in the UK.”

Motorists going across the channel in the next few months should also be aware that they must carry a breathalyser in their vehicle if they are on French soil.