As petrol prices spike at a six month high of 104.7p per litre, Brits face the prospect of another 2p per litre rise in fuel duty on 1 September. New analysis from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, reveals that consumers will be forced to shell out an extra £29 per year as a result of the impending price hike – equating to an additional £1.16 for every tank of petrol they buy. In total, this will cost UK drivers over £36 million in the next month alone as the cost of filling the average tank hits over £62. This is a 26% (£12.99) increase since 2007, when a full tank cost a more modest £49.22 (87.9p per litre).
Adding insult to injury for motorists, industry experts suggest that petrol prices are in fact set to soar by up to 3p a litre at the height of the holiday season this month, due to the rising prices of oil and an 8% rise in the wholesale cost of fuel. Coupled with the double whammy of the 2p fuel duty increase, consumers could be subject to a 5p a litre rise in total. Further knocks to drivers include government plans to end the temporary cut in VAT on January 1, 2010 – just months after the fuel duty increase comes into force.
However, the research suggests that British motorists are not simply prepared to sit back and watch their petrol bills rocket! One in three drivers (33%) are now planning to ditch their larger gas guzzlers and in favour of a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, with over a third (36%) citing fuel efficiency as the most important consideration when buying a new vehicle.
“It is not surprising that, for drivers looking to buy a new or second-hand vehicle, size increasingly matters. Flash Harry’s are becoming well and truly flushed, with more and more motorists prioritising fuel efficiency over ‘forecourt flashiness’ by downsizing their cars to pre-empt the increasing expense of filling up the tank. Getting from A to B is more about MPG than ever before, and, with further petrol price increases in the offing, drivers are right to think about the total running costs of a vehicle before making a final decision on the forecourt.”