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UK no longer has cheapest pre-tax fuel
British motorists are no longer paying the lowest pre-tax prices for petrol and diesel in Europe.
Austria now offers the best value to drivers, despite the fact that UK petrol prices have fallen 1.26p a litre since mid-September.
However British motorists and car insurance policy holders have continued to face near-record level fuel prices at the pumps, with the majority of the expense being made up of tax.
Edmund King, president of the AA, told the London Evening Standard that, "The UK fuel industry's main shield against criticism of high prices has been that it sells the cheapest petrol in Europe before tax. Fuel price regulation established in Austria over the past year has blown a hole in that defence.
"On average, over the past 12 months, petrol prices in Austria were only half a penny more expensive, meaning that they would have wiped the floor with the UK had the euro been slightly stronger against the dollar.
"It does raise questions as to how well pump pricing in this country serves the interests of the consumer - the fuel price postcode lottery and the summer-long inflated price of diesel being cases in point."
The average price for a litre of petrol in the UK is now 138.95p, with diesel also 0.86p cheaper since September at 143.7p. However price variations across the country mean Northern Ireland currently has the highest average price of petrol, with motorists paying 139.4p a litre whilst Londoners pay just 138.6p.
Drivers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all pay the most when filling up their diesel cars whilst Yorkshire and Humberside offer motorists the cheapest at 143.2p a litre.