A Long Way To Go For Cheaper Fuel

By: Catherine Harvey

UK price hikes on fuel have been very much in the forefront of peoples minds for the last few years.

Various crisis in the Arab world have raised concerns regarding the availability of fuel and led to huge increases in the price of fuel, panic buying and strikes. However, none of these have been strictly necessary.

The oil industry is the biggest business in the world. No company can function without fuel and very few people would be willing to forego it now either. Oil companies first blamed price increases on Middle East unrest but it is now generally considered to be the fault of the Chancellor for putting hefty taxes on fuel. The current level of fuel tax in the UK is set at 66%.

This, he claims, is to discourage people from making unnecessary car journeys, to share journeys or use public transport wherever possible and all to save the environment from all the green house gases that burning fuel emits.

The wider consensus says that if this is the real reason then the multi million pound business's and airlines who emit ridiculous amounts of pollution should be the ones who are penalised, not the average car driver.

Despite all this, time has gone by, UK fuel prices are now well over a pound per litre and the British citizens complain, but pay up nonetheless.

So, how has this controversial enforcement of taxes effected the business of tourism? The extra tax costs of the airlines has been passed on to the passenger with extra pay increases. This is another reason why British people complain but dutifully pay up.

For those of us unfortunate enough to not be able to afford expensive flights, driving holidays have long been the norm with many people choosing car hire as their preferred choice. Is this still a viable option given the extortionate price of fuel?

Car hire has always been a useful way of travelling on holiday. With one set price that covers tax, insurance and breakdowns car hire is often a cheaper and more reliable way of travel than using your own car.

Car hire in Austria is a very efficient way of travelling around to see the sights if this is where you choose for your holiday destination. Fuel in Austria does not suffer the astronomical tax levies that it does in the UK. In fact, a litre of petrol in Austria will cost as little as 79p compared to over a pound in the UK. Even this price can be improved upon if you chose to shop for your fuel in supermarket petrol stations.

Austria is the third cheapest place in the whole of Europe for fuel and the country has seen many natives of neighbouring countries crossing the borders to refill their fuel tanks. It actually works out cheaper for them to travel that distance to obtain cheaper fuel than it does to make a short trip in their own country on more expensive petrol. The country has also seen an explosion of petrol stations springing up around the borders.

So, the business of car hire in Austria is still enjoying all the benefits that its many customers bring and their fuel industry has seen a rise in profits. Is this not a good reason to lower fuel taxes even further?

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