Drivers demand greater fuel duty cut than £1 a week as petrol, diesel and insurance costs become overwhelming

Drivers demand greater fuel duty cut than £1 a week as petrol, diesel and insurance costs become overwhelming

WATCH: Jeremy Hunt announces extension of fuel duty freeze

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 07/03/2024

- 10:23

The fuel duty freeze was extended until March 2025

Drivers are unimpressed by the extension to the fuel duty freeze with savings of around £1 every time they fill up as they continue to be hit with savage fuel prices and high insurance premiums.

Taking to social media, users expressed how despite the extension of the 5p per litre cut, it won't save drivers money in the long term as car insurance premiums are skyrocketing across the nation.

The fuel duty freeze was extended until March 2025 and is estimated to save car drivers around £50 this year and £250 since the 5p cut was introduced in 2022.

But drivers have complained that £50 is not enough as the cost of fuel continues to rise, most recently with petrol going up by 4p a litre in February while diesel drivers are still facing a 5p per litre hike last month.

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Petrol pump at station

Petrol rose by 4p a litre in February while diesel went up to 5p per litre


One user on Facebook pointed out that the fuel duty freeze is only effective if drivers pay less than the last time they filled up.

They said: “It won't save anything as it's not gone up to be reduced. It's no different than [Jeremy] Hunt saying it's a £500 saving just because I haven't put the price up.”

It’s not just drivers who are unhappy with the Budget announcement, as experts also expressed their concerns about the freeze.

Matthew Briggs, CEO of Right Fuel Card, explained that the fuel duty freeze was not entirely surprising, but nevertheless, the group hoped for a further price reduction in an attempt to help motorists at the pumps.

He commented: “While overall fuel prices are out of the Government’s hands, we’d hope that consumers and business owners will see a more positive impact than what we’ve seen recently. We’re also keen to see more consistent pricing by retailers and less of a postcode lottery.”

Gideon Salutin, senior researcher at the Social Market Foundation, warned that the only thing the freeze will fuel is more inequality.

He argued that achieving a more meaningful reduction in transport expenses requires the Government to invest in cheaper, greener alternatives like public transport and electric vehicles.

But stated that the Budget did little to enhance those options for low-income households.

Nicholas Lyes, director of policy and standards at The Institute of Advanced Motorists, said the organisation was disappointed there was no support to help younger drivers with the spiralling costs of motor insurance.

Drivers under 25 could have seen tax reliefs through a cut to insurance premium tax (IPT) as without it, according to Compare the Market, the average premiums new drivers are paying is a staggering £2,041.

IPT is similar to VAT in the sense that it’s a percentage of the total amount paid. So if a car insurance premium is £500, it will cost £560 once the standard rate of 12 per cent IPT is included, the comparison site found.

Meanwhile, John Rawlings, consumer editor at Carwow, explained that while it was positive to see the fuel duty freeze was extended for another 12 months, motorists were hoping for more investment in the UK’s electric vehicle charging network.


Petrol station with pay point

Jeremy Hunt accused Labour of not committing to the fuel duty freeze


He stated: “Motorists need to trust that the transition to EVs is being supported by policymakers as they decide which car they’ll be choosing next, so today’s decision to focus on fuel duty over EV improvements is a real missed opportunity by the Chancellor.”

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility the fuel duty extension is estimated cost £3.1billion this year.

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