Review says shopping around will save motorists more than 2.5p fuel duty cut

The report says Jersey's goal to reach net zero conflicts with a reduction in fuel duty. Credit: PA

Calls to cut fuel duty in Jersey are not the most effective way of saving motorists money, according to a new government review.

The Economic Development Minister's report says while that might save car users £1-2 per month, shopping around to find a cheaper fuel station could save £10 each time they fill up the tank.

Deputy Kirsten Morel's review says that works out as savings of around 15% if someone uses the cheapest supplier on the island instead of the most expensive.

The review says shopping around to find the cheapest forecourt could save motorists more than a fuel duty cut. Credit: ITV Channel Television

Noting that Jersey has a "particularly high number of discount schemes for fuel," the report says the actual prices customers pay "may differ significantly" from what is advertised.

The review also finds that the price of unleaded petrol in Jersey is now more expensive than in the UK, when historically it was similar or cheaper.

This change is due, in part, to the higher transport costs needed to bring it to the island, as well as Jersey having a higher fuel duty.

A proposal to cut this rate by 2.5p per litre will soon be debated by the States. Part of the report assesses this motion.

A government review into Jersey's fuel market says it is 'unclear' why there are such significant price differences between forecourts. Credit: ITV Channel Television

It finds that it would only save the average car user £1-£2 per month, and warns that businesses may not even pass on the reduction to the customers.

Even if the cut is passed onto motorists, it says that this saving would be "dwarfed" by the money they could save by simply changing where they refill their car.

The report says the island's goal to reach net zero is in conflict with a reduction in fuel duty, as lowering its price might increase demand.

However, in order to successfully become carbon neutral, Jersey will need to use less fuel derived from fossil fuels, not more.

Therefore, the review concludes by offering alternative policies which it believes would be better for both the people and Jersey's government. These include:

  • Means-tested fuel vouchers

  • Discounted or free bus travel

  • Price caps on fuel