June 10 - Motorists driving in Europe this summer should expect fuel to be more expensive than last year, but there are savings to be made. Kirsty Basset reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Protests vent their anger in the Belarussian capital Minsk after the government decided to increase the tax on fuel, driving prices up by around 30 per cent. It was supposed to help keep a lid on the country's economic crisis, but the government later reversed the decision in response the protests. It's not only drivers in Belarus who are feeling the pain at the pump. British motorists driving to Europe this summer might be in for a shock when they fill up at petrol stations across the continent. According to a Post Office report, holidaymakers could pay up to 35 per cent more for petrol compared to last year - due to a combination of the weak pound and fuel rises. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SARAH MUNRO, POST OFFICE HEAD OF TRAVEL MONEY SAYING: "The most expensive place to buy petrol is Norway, that's far more expensive than the UK. But the biggest increase year on year has been Switzerland. We've seen about a 33 per cent, about a third increase in the cost of petrol and diesel. And that's mainly driven by exchange rates, so we've lost quite a bit of value against the Swiss franc, and that's compounding the cost of fuel there." While Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark are among the most expensive places to buy fuel, Luxembourg is the cheapest for unleaded petrol, followed by Spain and Austria. But for drivers who plan ahead, there are savings to be made. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SARAH MUNRO, POST OFFICE HEAD OF TRAVEL MONEY SAYING: "Luxembourg is about 20p a litre less than France so it's worth a detour into there. Austria is about 21p a litre less than Switzerland for petrol, so worth a detour there. And the other thing is, most people who drive from the UK drive through France. Diesel is going to be far cheaper in France about 19p less a litre, so fill up your diesel when you get to Calais or wherever you might be going. But petrol's cheaper here, so fill up your car before you get on the ferry." And with the price of Brent crude oil hitting a five-week high and U.S. crude at over $120 a barrel in the aftermath of OPEC's failure to agree an output hike, the days of fuel costing less than a pound a litre seem well and truly over. Kirsty Basset, Reuters