PETROL pump prices have hit their lowest level for two years with sans plomb 95 falling to an average of €1.4677 across the country while diesel, which accounts for 80% of sales, dropped to €1.3112.
Prices have been falling for several weeks due to an excess of oil on the market and a litre of SP95 was €1.4841 a week ago, according to figures from the energy and ecology ministry.
BFMTV journalist Yann-Antony Noghès, based in Belgium, said that France had the cheapest fuel amongst its big European neighbours, with diesel costing €1.66 in Italy and SP95 at €1.79 in Holland and Italy – although it was €1.22 in Luxembourg.
Although market prices for oil have tumbled – a barrel of Brent crude [the market reference] has fallen to $105.91, its lowest for four months – much of the reduction is down to countries’ fuel tax policies with France keeping its tax take down while Italy and Norway, for example, have raised taxes to pay for other services. In Italy a two centime rise in diesel prices is helping pay for the reconstruction of earthquake-hit districts in the north-east.
Supermarkets have also played a part, with Carrefour, E.Leclerc and Intermarché now offering fuel at more attractive prices than traditional petrol stations.
In the UK, supermarket Asda has cut the price of its unleaded petrol to 126.7p/litre (about €1.50) and 133.7p (€1.58) for diesel.
However, drivers wanting Europe’s cheapest fuel should head for Romania and Estonia where it is around €1.25 for SP95 – although it will take about six full tanks to make the journey.
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