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Fuel duty freeze has made 'little impact' on drivers

The fuel duty freeze of the last three years has made "little impact" on the wallets of cash strapped motorists, the RAC has said.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister called on the Chancellor to "go beyond his promise" to freeze fuel duty and "cut the rate further" in the 2014 budget, scheduled for March 19.

We're only about two weeks away from the Budget and the Chancellor has made much of the fact that fuel duty has not risen for three years.

However this has made little impact on the huge proportion of tax the UK's 36 million drivers pay on their fuel.

The irony is that if you take tax out of the equation we actually have the fifth cheapest diesel in the EU and the second cheapest petrol.

The oil companies and retailers are often blamed for soaring pump prices but these figures reveal that's not the whole picture.

– Professor Stephen Glaister

UK drivers face 'highest rate of tax on diesel' in Europe

British drivers who use diesel to fuel their vehicles face the highest rate of tax in Europe, the RAC Foundation has found.

The RAC released the figures ahead of this year's budget, due on March 19. Credit: PA

The only country more costly than the UK for motorists filling up their cars with petrol is Sweden, the charity said.

Its figures showed that tax accounts for 59% of the price of diesel in the UK, with Sweden (56%) second and Italy (55%) third.

As much as 61% of the price of petrol in the UK is down to tax, with Swedes (62%) paying the most in tax and the Netherlands (61%) paying the same.

In contrast, of 28 European countries surveyed, Luxembourg's drivers fork out the least amount in tax which accounts for only 41% of the total price.

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