Home News Features Compliance

🕒 Article read time: 2 minutes

Logistics UK verdict - Why are UK diesel prices still the most expensive in Europe?

UK fleet operators are still having to pay more for diesel than their European counterparts, despite the 5p-a-litre fuel duty discount introduced in March 2022.

A new report from the RAC states that the average price of diesel at UK pumps is currently 155p, which makes it 5p more expensive than both Ireland and Belgium on 150p.

Although duty on both petrol and diesel was cut from 57.95p to 52.95p in spring 2022 to ease the burden of rapidly rising fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK still has the highest rate of duty on diesel in Europe alongside Italy.

So, what should diesel be costing us here in the UK?

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The average price of a litre of diesel should really be down to around the 145p level if retailers were charging fairer prices.

“The margin on petrol is also, in our view, unreasonably high at 13p. We can see no good reason why retailers in Great Britain aren’t cutting their prices at the pumps.

“It’s important to note that in Northern Ireland, where there is greater competition for fuels in the absence of supermarket dominance, the average price of diesel is just 144.9p – 10p less than the UK average, and petrol is 6p cheaper at 142.4p."

Logistics UK’s Deputy Director – Policy Information, Sarah Watkins said: “Logistics businesses need to make significant investment in vehicles and premises in order to decarbonise, so it is important that the impact of fuel price increases is minimised to allow them to do this.

“Additional taxation, through measures such as fuel duty, simply increases the cost base for operators and especially for those who do not yet have low or zero carbon options for their heavy vehicle fleets.


“With fuel representing around 30% of the cost of operating a 44 tonne truck, we know that operators keenly monitor the price of diesel to ensure they are purchasing it in the most cost-effective way.

“While most business will be using fuel cards or bunker fuel it is important that the industry is reassured that there is scrutiny to check the consumer market is working as it should.”

Diesel in Italy is still currently 7p cheaper than the UK, at an average of 148p a litre, while France’s duty rate is only the equivalent of a penny lower than the UK (52p) but its average price for diesel is 9p less at 146p. In Belgium, where duty is the equivalent of 2p less than the UK at 51p, its diesel is 5p cheaper at 150p.

Published On: 06/06/2024 15:00:00


Comments Section

If you are a Logistics UK member login to add comments.

There are no comments yet.

News In Brief

Skills Bootcamps scheme gets HGV traction

HGVC, a leading HGV training specialist, is helping seven SME third party logistics firms train existing employees as part of its majority-funded Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving scheme.

When haulage driver shortages continue to contribute to market headwinds in the sector, the Department for Education (DfE) funded Skills Bootcamps offer a lifeline for logistics firms.

Logistics UK was part of the consortium established by HGVC during the pandemic to deliver BootCamps. Up to 1,900 places are available over the next two years and HGVC is encouraging more firms to apply while places remain.

The HGV Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, helping people build up sector-specific skills. For employers with fewer than 250 employees, the Skills Bootcamps are 90% funded by the DfE.

Employers pay the remaining 10 per cent of the course cost. HGVC will focus on supporting employers looking to upskill existing staff, via three pathways: helping novice drivers gain their Category C (rigid lorry) licence, a Category C+E (articulated lorry) licence or helpin

Latest articles

Van market records best first half year since 2021 but heavy vans and BEV registrations decline

According to figures released on 4 July by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), there was mixed news about van registrations for June 2024 – despite the van sector recording its best first half year since June 2021.

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

Campaign highlight: Logistics UK writes to the Department of Transport in response to SAF consultation

The Department for Transport (DfT) recently consulted on revenue certainty options to support a sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) industry in the UK. The aim of implementing a revenue certainty mechanism is to reduce the risks of uncertain revenues for emerging SAF plants.

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

Generation Logistics Case Study

Lee Harrison, Supply Chain Development Manager, Kuehne+Nagel

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

E-news archive

You can also view our e-news archive here.

E-news archive

Interested in Membership?

Get in contact using the Membership Enquiry Form.

Membership Enquiry Form

Logistics Magazine Portal

The hub for finding relevant and informative features, news & compliance guides from Logistics Magazine

Logistics Magazine Portal Home

Sponsorship Opportunities

Learn more about advertising on the new digital Logistics Magazine, with a variety of advert options to reach 30,000 relevant readers.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Magazine Contents


Logistics Magazine will cover all the latest news on stories breaking in the industry, including developments on COVID-19,  Brexit, Clean Air Zones, transport law and decarbonisation.



Our frequent features will tackle the broader issues affecting logistics such as the COVID-19 vaccination programme, technology and innovation, the political and economic landscape, global trade and the drive to reduce emissions across all transport modes.



Each month we explore a different topic in depth in our popular Compliance section, while each week we will publish answers put to our Member Advice Centre team.


View Supplements and Previous Printed Editions

View Supplements and previous printed editions of Logistics Magazine here.