If Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown backs the ETA's call it would see petrol and diesel pump prices reach a minimum of 338p a gallon/74p litre and 342p a gallon/75p a litre respectively - an increase of about 48p a gallon/10p a litre. For a fleet of 100 unleaded petrol cars averaging 32mpg over 18,000 miles a year, the annual bill would increase by £26,928, according to figures provided by PHH Vehicle Management. The equivalent fuel bill increase for a same-sized diesel fleet would be £21,790 a year.
The ETA's call comes just a month after motoring organisations feared the Chancellor could increase fuel duties by more than the already pledged 6% above inflation. The ETA claims the current £16 billion which motorists pay annually in fuel and vehicle excise duty level falls woefully short of paying for the damage to the environment and health which vehicles cause - a bill it estimates at £42 billion.
ETA director Andrew Davis said: 'Motorists do not pay for the damage they cause. These costs must be paid. Taxation is one of the best ways of doing so. I shall be sending a copy of our report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the recommendation that he increases his annual fuel tax above its current 6% level. I would suggest a level of 14%.'