A planned 2.8p fuel duty rise expected in the Budget today (Wednesday, October 27) is thought to have been axed, according to reports.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will reportedly hold fuel duty at 57.95p per litre for the 12th year in a row after petrol prices set a new record high.
The previous record high petrol price of 142.48p a litre, which was reached on April 16, 2012, was broken on Sunday (October 24), when a new record high petrol price of 142.94p was set.
Andreas Schneider, managing director and co-founder of Vimcar, said: “Many SMEs with petrol and diesel fleets will be breathing a sigh of relief after Rishi Sunak has abandoned plans to raise fuel duty but that relief will be short-lived.
“With fuel prices in the UK at a record high, SMEs are already dealing with increased costs and, despite fuel duty remaining frozen, it has never been so important to manage fuel consumption.
“Understanding driver behaviour and optimising vehicle usage will therefore be crucial for small businesses in the months ahead.”
With an increasing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) being registered, fuel duty is proving to be the "elephant in the room", according to Matthew Walters, head of consultancy services and customer value at LeasePlan UK.
"This financial year, the government is projected to make around £20.9 billion from fuel duty, compared to £27bn in 2019-20," he said. "Without this significant tax on the fuel that we use in our vehicles, the Government will lose a huge proportion of its earnings."
He continued: "The money needs to come from somewhere in the long term. There is no simple solution to this very complex issue. But what is vital is that the Government consult key industry players well in advance of the 2030 ICE ban deadline.
"It’s essential that it gives itself and the public enough time to prepare for these significant legislative changes."
Seven UK regions now exceeding 2012 record high petrol price
The latest RAC Fuel Watch data shows that Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber are the only places in the UK where the average cost of a litre of petrol is still below the old record price.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “With oil now at $86 a barrel and retailers taking more margin per litre than they did nine and half years ago, it surely won’t be long before every nation and region of the UK, perhaps apart from Northern Ireland, exceeds the 2012 high petrol price of 142.48p a litre.
“These high prices will be hurting households and businesses everywhere and could have a damaging effect on the economy at a time when it is recovering from the worst impact of the pandemic.
“We urge the Government to help ease the burden at the pumps by temporarily reducing VAT and for the biggest retailers to bring the amount they make on every litre of petrol back down to the level it was prior to the pandemic.”
|Most recent price||25/10/2021|
|Yorkshire and Humber||142.26|