The cheapest places for holidaymakers to buy petrol and diesel in Europe have been revealed – and it’s Andorra that’s the best value across the board.
Travellers renting a car in Andorra will pay £1.23 per litre for unleaded petrol – working out to £187 for 1,000 miles of driving – and £1.10 per litre for diesel (£167 per 1,000 miles).
That’s according to the latest Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report, which surveyed fuel prices in 17 European countries and created two cost-based rankings – one for unleaded petrol and one for diesel. As part of the research, the Post Office has also revealed some road rules overseas that Britons might not be aware of.
For unleaded petrol, Ireland is the second cheapest (£1.38 per litre/£209 per 1,000 miles), followed by Austria in third place (£1.39 per litre/£210 per 1,000 miles). Moving down the ranking, Spain (£1.40 per litre/£211 per 1,000 miles) is the fourth cheapest for unleaded petrol while Luxembourg (£1.41 per litre/£213 per 1,000 miles) slides into fifth place.
Looking at diesel, it’s Spain – where diesel is 21p less a litre than in the UK at £1.25 per litre (£190 per 1,000 miles) – that’s the second cheapest for drivers, followed by Luxembourg (£1.26 per litre/£191 per 1,000 miles) in third place. Fourth place in the diesel ranking goes to Ireland (£1.28 per litre/£194 per 1,000 miles) while in fifth place it’s Portugal (£1.29 per litre/£196 per 1,000 miles).
The cheapest places for holidaymakers to buy petrol and diesel in Europe have been revealed – and it’s Andorra (pictured) that’s the best value across the board. That’s according to the latest Post Office Travel Money Motoring on the Continent report, which surveyed fuel prices in 17 European countries
The UK sits at 6th in the unleaded petrol table at £1.44 per litre (£217 per 1,000 miles), and it’s 11th in the diesel table at £1.46 (£221 per 1,000 miles).
Where is costly for motorists? Over one in five (21 per cent) holidaymakers surveyed say they will drive in France but high prices at the pumps make it one of the most expensive countries for fuel – it ranks 12th for unleaded petrol at £1.62 (£245 per 1,000 miles) and 13th for diesel at £1.47 (£223 per 1,000 miles).
The same is true of Italy, where unleaded petrol costs £1.62 a litre (£245 per 1,000 miles) and £1.49 for diesel (£223 per 1,000 miles). As a result, it ranks 13th for unleaded petrol and 14th for diesel in the tables.
Of all the countries surveyed, Switzerland is the priciest for diesel fuel at £1.76 a litre (£266 per 1,000 miles) and similarly expensive (15th overall) for unleaded petrol at £1.66 (£251 per 1,000 miles).
Denmark is the most expensive destination for unleaded petrol, meanwhile, priced at £1.76 per litre, or £266 for 1,000 miles. It ranks 10th in the diesel ranking, however, with diesel priced at £1.46 per litre (£218 per 1,000 miles).
Overall, in 14 of the countries surveyed, motorists driving a diesel car will pay considerably less than for unleaded petrol.
Ireland is the second cheapest country in Europe for unleaded petrol – it’s priced at £1.38 per litre. Above is the Slea Head Drive route in County Kerry
However, although fuel costs across Europe have fallen from the record levels they reached over the past year and sterling is at a 2023 high against the euro, pump prices are higher in almost 90 per cent of the countries surveyed than in 2019, when the Post Office Travel Money last conducted the pricing comparison.
Elsewhere, the report also found that over two-in-five of holiday motorists are unaware of new European road rules and risk big fines.
Post Office research found that 43 per cent of Britons planning trips are unaware of low emission zone restrictions in top destinations like France and Spain where they are most likely to drive.
Over half (52 per cent) were unaware of daily entry fees and permits required in many cities and 58 per cent did not know about the requirement to display windscreen stickers showing the emissions levels of their vehicle.
In France ‘Crit Air’ emission stickers must be displayed and if not could result in fines of £58 (€68) to £116 (€135).
Forty-two per cent of those planning to drive in Europe did not realise that speeding can carry spot fines. Yet almost one in five (19 per cent) admitted having incurred spot fines for speeding or violating other travel regulations on past trips to Europe, Post Office Travel Money reveals.
Over one in five (21 per cent) holidaymakers surveyed say they will drive in France but high prices at the pumps make it one of the most expensive countries for fuel
Similar numbers (18 per cent) said they had been given ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’-style fines for contravening low-emission zone regulations and 47 per cent were unaware that those with a paper driving licence issued before March 31, 2000, will need an international driving permit.
The report found that a third of Britons visiting Europe this year plan to drive while on holiday – either in their own car or in a rental vehicle – with France, Spain and Italy the top choices for holiday motoring.
Commenting on the report, Laura Plunkett, Head of Travel Money at Post Office, said: ‘With flight costs reported to be soaring, it is understandable that so many Britons have decided to drive to Europe this summer. However, it is worrying that many people have not realised that driving laws have changed since their last trip and they could be risking big fines if they don’t learn the rules of the road. Popular destinations like France and Spain have long been operating spot fines so it is crucial for holiday motorists to carry foreign currency with them in case they are stopped for speeding or falling foul of new rules.
‘Our pump price research found that the cost of filling up in Europe can vary by as much as £100 so we advise planning driving routes carefully before setting out to keep costs down. Save money by diverting from the motorway and trunk roads into local towns. Supermarket prices will be cheaper than on the roadside, just as they are here in the UK. Remember to carry some foreign currency as not all petrol stations in rural locations accept plastic.’