Norwegian fuel displaced as Europe’s dearest. Italy still expensive + Swiss diesel. France and Spain cheap.
The difference in fuel prices between the Netherlands and Belgium and Germany is now so marked that a group of Dutch fuel retailers from border areas will take the government to court in January.
Relentless tax rises mean standard unleaded now sells for, on average, €1.639 compared to €1.369 in Germany and €1.277 in Belgium.
(The situation is less bad with diesel: €1.339 in Holland versus €1.219 in Germany and €1.277 in Belgium.)
Dutch petrol has now overtaken Norwegian (€1.593) as the most expensive in Europe, as has Italian (€1.635).
Meanwhile, the most expensive diesel in Europe is sold in the UK (€1.537) with Italy (€1.534) not far behind.
In general however, fuel prices are falling everywhere thanks to global wholesale prices at four/five year lows.
In Luxembourg diesel threatens to break through the €1 per litre barrier. After fresh falls on Friday, the – nationally regulated – price now stands at €1.046 with unleaded 95 at €1.115.
The Grand Duchy is always worth working into an itinerary if possible, especially so for performance car drivers heading for the Nurburgring: full-fat unleaded 98 currently costs €1.176.
Meanwhile in Portugal prices have fallen by over 11% since January, to €1.254 for diesel and €1.429 for petrol though there’s still a way to go to catch up with Spain where diesel is €1.139 and unleaded 95 €1.199.
Drivers heading that way should always try and divert through Andorra for Western Europe’s reliably cheapest fuel currently costing an hilarious €0.983 for diesel and €1.113 for unleaded 95.
Skiers off to Austria have traditionally eeked out fuel reserves until they cross the border but prices are much of a muchness with Germany at the moment: unleaded 95 at €1.370 and diesel for €1.220.
In Switzerland, unleaded 95 is both relatively and actually cheaper at €1.299 but diesel has crept up to an expensive €1.444.
Finally, France. For all the recent fuss over future rises in fuel taxation, for the time being at least prices are quite reasonable. Standard petrol – see below – comes in at €1.274 and diesel at €1.123.
All prices are per litre, taken from fuel-prices-europe.info. Indicative only, average prices (unless stated). Often considerably cheaper away from motorways. See French fuel prices in local detail at Prix Carburants.
Diesel drivers should be aware that Continental fuel has a lower freezing point, more suitable for overnight stays in ski regions, for example. Be careful to fully flush UK-supplied fuel through the system.
Most French and German standard fuel is now E10, i.e. ten percent bioethanol. Most cars built after 2002 are compatible. If in doubt use regular SP95 or SP98 though both will be (slightly) more expensive.