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Government to retain freeze on fuel duty

Date: 03 October 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Fuel duty is to remain frozen at the current rate at this year's budget, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.

The decision means that the current rate will be retained for the ninth year in a row. 

It currently stands at 57.95p per litre for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol, 31.61p per kilogram for liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and 24.70p per kilogram for natural gas used as fuel in vehicles, such as biogas. 

Reacting to the announcement, Lex Autolease head of consultancy Ashley Barnett said: "Despite speculation to the contrary, the decision to maintain the freeze on fuel duty will be a welcome relief for UK businesses given rising prices at the pump and already-high vehicle running costs.

"Whilst we support the Government's Road to Zero strategy, the choice of electric vehicles and the reach of the country's charging infrastructure are still improving, which means new diesel and petrol vehicles remain the most practical option for many drivers at present." 

"As we transition towards zero and ultra-low emission vehicles [ULEVs], a steer from the government on the longer-term and sustainable alternative for fuel duty would be welcomed by business. 

"We are hopeful that the budget will bring more clarification around WLTP and company car tax post 2020/21, as well as the support available for ULEVs and the implementation of clean air zones." 

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "We are pleased the prime minister has listened to the RAC and millions of motorists by freezing fuel duty for another year.

"Drivers are currently paying the highest prices at the pumps for four years. While there is a silver lining in the form of no rise in fuel duty, darker clouds in the form of higher wholesale costs may well be passed on to drivers at the pumps imminently, so it would have been foolhardy for the Treasury to opt to punish drivers further."