Cheaper petrol? Drive to Europe

The strengthening of the pound against the euro is giving Britons driving abroad more petrol pump power.

Those holidaying on European roads are saving an average of 4.2p a litre on petrol and 21p a litre on diesel compared with costs at home, revealed a survey by the AA.

The weaker euro is providing UK drivers on continental breaks a level of fuel saving last seen in 2008, with petrol now an average of nearly 6p a litre cheaper than in July last year.

The biggest savings come from driving in France, where the cost of petrol has fallen 13.4% in the last 12 months.

While the average cost of a litre of petrol in the UK is now around 132p, the cheapest petrol to be had on the continent is in Spain (110.6p a litre) and in Austria (110.1p). The most expensive is in the Netherlands (140.6p), although this is well down on the Dutch figure of 153.3p in July last year.

For Britons driving in the United States, petrol now costs just 57.9p a litre on average, with diesel at 62.4p.

AA president Edmund King said: "Since the beginning of July, drivers have seen the average UK pump price of petrol rise 2.53p a litre and diesel go up 2.30p.

"At least if they go abroad the weaker euro allows them to claw back some of the surge from speculator-driven wholesale prices."

Ben Schofield, from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "Not only is petrol cheaper on the continent, once you cross the channel French motorway service stations are forced to display the price their competitors charge for petrol.

"It's much easier for drivers to get the best deal. This is something the Government must consider for the UK."