Are we at record diesel fuel prices yet? How much has diesel gone up in the past year? How much revenue does the government make from fuel taxes? All your questions are answered in a concise Q&A, courtesy of our friends at the Road Haulage Association, which reads as follows:

Q. Are we at recorYour key questions – answeredd diesel fuel prices yet?
A. Not quite, the RHA conducts a weekly bulk fuel price survey of its members to give a general
guide. In 2008 the highest weekly average was 108.97ppl ex vat – in comparison on 28.01.11 this
was 107.77ppl.

Q. What about back in 2000 when the country nearly ground to a halt?
A. Diesel fuel peaked around 70ppl ex vat or 85.1ppl inclusive.

Q. How much has diesel gone up in the past year?
A. 14.7%, in January 2010 the RHA average fuel price was 93.96ppl ex vat.

Q. How does the barrel price of oil compare?
A. In 2008 oil reached $142, Thursday (27.01.11) recorded $96.73.

Q. How much revenue does the government make from fuel taxes?
A. Fuel usage in the UK amounts to 49 billion litres annually (24b petrol + 25b diesel). At the new
increased rate of 58.95ppl plus 20% vat this brings in £34.6 billion – that is £1.01 billion more than
at the previous duty rate of 58.19ppl and 17.5% vat.

Q. Is the duty rate the same for petrol and diesel?
A. Yes, the duty rate for both Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel and Unleaded Petrol was equalised at
50.35ppl in April 2008. Since then duty has increased by 8.6ppl or 17% and that doesn’t included
the vat.

Q. How much to run a truck?
A. Trucks use a lot of fuel, in fact around a third of the running cost is fuel alone – a 44 tonne
artic/trailer combination will use around 7.5mpg and a typically cover 70,000 miles a year. To do
that, the truck will use 42,439 litres (9333 gallons) at a cost today of £45,737 ex vat.

Q. So what does a penny per litre rise mean to a truck’s operating cost?
A. For every penny increase that adds £424 a year to the operating cost – since October 2010 that
has meant an increase of £4185 per truck per year relating to fuel (Oct 10= 97.90ppl, Jan 11
=107.77ppl – difference therefore 9.87ppl x £424=£4185).

Q. October seems to be where the rapid rise in price of fuel started to occur, what in
percentage terms has the increase since then been?
A. Fuel itself has risen 10.08% in little more than 3 months, 33.6% of the cost of running a truck is
paid on fuel. This means that the cost of running a truck has increased by 3.3% in those few months

Q. I’ve heard diesel fuel is cheaper abroad?
A. Correct, Luxembourg is generally the cheapest European country at around 35% less that the
UK. The week commencing 3.01.11 meant prices were
UK = 107.27 Belgium = 76.05
Luxembourg = 70.40 France = 79.49
(price = pence per litre)

Q. So how much difference per tank?
A. Many trucks will operate with a tank around 500 litres however the limit is 1500 litres and would
normally be used by international truck operators. You can see the reason why a UK operator
struggles against foreign competition from the comparisons below:
500 litres 1500 litres (max tank size)
UK = £536 UK = £1609
Luxembourg = £352 Luxembourg = £1057
Belgium = £380 Belgium = £1141
France = £397 France = £1192

Q. How many trucks are operating in Great Britain?
A. There are currently 415,000 HGVs registered in England, Scotland and Wales – the industry is
worth around £64 billion per annum.

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