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A Fuel’s Game: 2p Fuel Duty Increase Will Cost Drivers GBP1 Billion Extra in the Next Year

As petrol prices spike at a six month high of 104.7p per litre, Brits face the prospect of another 2p per litre rise in fuel duty on 1 September. New analysis from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, reveals that consumers will be forced to shell out an extra GBP29 per year as a result of the impending price hike – equating to an additional GBP1.16 for every tank of petrol they buy. LONDON, ENGLAND, August 28, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — As petrol prices spike at a six month high of 104.7p per litre, Brits face the prospect of another 2p per litre rise in fuel duty on 1 September. New analysis from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, reveals that consumers will be forced to shell out an extra GBP29 per year as a result of the impending price hike – equating to an additional GBP1.16 for every tank of petrol they buy. In total, this will cost UK drivers over GBP36 million in the next month alone as the cost of filling the average tank hits over GBP62. This is a 26% (GBP12.99) increase since 2007, when a full tank cost a more modest GBP49.22 (87.9p per litre).

Adding insult to injury for motorists, industry experts suggest that petrol prices are in fact set to soar by up to 3p a litre at the height of the holiday season this month, due to the rising prices of oil and an 8% rise in the wholesale cost of fuel. Coupled with the double whammy of the 2p fuel duty increase, consumers could be subject to a 5p a litre rise in total. Further knocks to drivers include government plans to end the temporary cut in VAT on January 1, 2010 – just months after the fuel duty increase comes into force.

However, the research suggests that British motorists are not simply prepared to sit back and watch their petrol bills rocket! One in three drivers (33%) are now planning to ditch their larger gas guzzlers and in favour of a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, with over a third (36%) citing fuel efficiency as the most important consideration when buying a new vehicle.

Mark Monteiro, insurance expert at uSwitch.com comments: "As Chancellor Alistair Darling comes under increasing pressure to scrap next week’s fuel duty increase, the outlook for drivers remains bleak. With petrol prices rocketing 15.6% in just six months adding recessionary insult to injury, it is unsurprising that consumers are finding themselves financially squeezed. It was bad enough last year when petrol prices spiked at an all time high, but in the current climate, drivers are by no means in any position to absorb these spiralling costs.

"It is not surprising that, for drivers looking to buy a new or second-hand vehicle, size increasingly matters. Flash Harry’s are becoming well and truly flushed, with more and more motorists prioritising fuel efficiency over ‘forecourt flashiness’ by downsizing their cars to pre-empt the increasing expense of filling up the tank. Getting from A to B is more about MPG than ever before, and, with further petrol price increases in the offing, drivers are right to think about the total running costs of a vehicle before making a final decision on the forecourt."

Top Tips for fuel efficiency
–    Use your gears wisely – driving in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine is a fuel-efficient way of driving. A vehicle travelling at 37mph in third gear uses 25% more fuel than at the same speed in fifth gear
–    Drive smoothly – think ahead! By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Try to predict traffic at junctions and when queuing avoid accelerating and then braking. Research suggests driving techniques can influence car fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
–    Lighten your load – think carefully about what you need on a journey. If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions – and the higher the fuel efficiency.
–    Check your tyre pressure – it is estimated that about 50% of tyres on the road are under inflated. Aside from increasing the rate of wear, this wastes fuel and decreases your fuel efficiency
–    Leave the car at home – probably the best way to decrease the amount of petrol you burn, is to leave the car at home, and take a bike, bus, train, or to walk. A quarter of all car journeys in Britain are less than two miles long, and walking or cycling are cheap, clean alternatives, and healthy too!
–    Invest in a new fuel efficient car – new cars come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s possible to pick a new car that can greatly reduce your fuel bill, and your fuel emissions.

See the full version of this press release: http://www.uswitch.com/press-room/Index.aspx?downloadfile=2p-FUEL-DUTY-INCREASE-WILL-COST-DRIVERS-1-BILLION[1]-EXTRA-IN-THE-NEXT-YEAR

For more information please contact:
Tracy North 0207 802 2925 / [email protected]

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

Website: http://www.uswitch.com


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