New fuel tax stands at forecourts across the country show the true cost of taxes on petrol and diesel

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has today launched a major new campaign with the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) to highlight the burden that excessive fuel taxes are placing on motorists and retailers alike. The TPA has launched its latest campaign against high taxes where they hurt the most, at the pumps. Working with the PRA, over 5,000 Fuel Tax Stands will be going to independent forecourts across the UK so that customers can see exactly how much of their cash is going straight to the Treasury.

We have also launched a website,, which allows users to write directly to their local MP and make their feelings known about the level of fuel tax.

The stands (pictured below) display a breakdown of where money spent on filling up the tank actually goes. When drivers pay £30 at the till, around £18 of that is paid straight to the Exchequer, with only the remaining £12 covering the cost of the fuel - including just £1 to the retailer. 

The aim of the campaign is to inform people that 60 per cent of what they pay at the pumps goes straight to the taxman. The TPA argues that, with greater transparency at the tills, pressure will mount on the Chancellor to cut Fuel Duty by 5p per litre over five years or at the very least to freeze Fuel Duty for the rest of this Parliament.

Other key points to note regarding fuel taxes: 
  • The 60 per cent tax rate is made up of Fuel Duty, VAT on the fuel and VAT on the Fuel Duty
  • The UK has the highest tax component of unleaded petrol and diesel prices in the entire European Union
  • In June 2012 the Chancellor postponed the planned August 2012 3p rise in Fuel Duty, but it is now due to come into effect in January 2013
  • This raises the possibility of back-to-back duty increases of over 3p per litre - Fuel Duty and VAT combined - in January 2013, which could then be followed by a nearly 2p per litre rise in April 2013. That would mean a 5p per litre combined tax hike on fuel in the first three months of 2013 not including VAT unless the Government changes course
  • Previous TPA research has shown how drivers are charged £18.1 billion in excessive motoring taxes, and those living in small towns, the suburbs and rural areas are hit hardest

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:
"Fuel Duty is an excessive and unfair burden on struggling families, whether they need to get to work, take their kids to school or do the weekly shop. Businesses also struggle with rising costs moving their goods. Too often staff in the forecourts get the flak for high fuel prices which are really the result of exorbitant taxes set by politicians. That is why we produced the new fuel tax stands to show customers how much tax they actually pay when they fill up. By displaying it on their counter, retailers will be able to set people straight when they vent their frustration over high petrol and diesel prices. Fuel Duty should at least be frozen for the rest of this Parliament, and motorists really deserve a cut in excessive taxes.”

PRA Chairman Brian Madderson said:
“We believe that the fuel tax stand is the perfect way to help explain to our customers that far from profiteering from high fuel prices, fuel retailers are also suffering as the Government takes 60% of the cost of every litre. This amounts to a total “tax take” of more than £30 billion from forecourts every year.”

Media contacts

Jonathan Isaby
Political Director, The TaxPayers' Alliance
07795 084 113

Notes to editors

1. Established in 2004 and now with 75,000 supporters, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) is Britain’s independent, grassroots campaign for lower taxes and better government. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at

2. The Petrol Retailers' Association is the trade association of independent petrol retailers representing over 5,500 forecourts across the UK

3. Further images of the Fuel Tax stands are available here:

4. The website allowing people to send a message to their MP demanding they oppose any further rises in fuel duty is to be found at

5. The stands will be on display at more than 5,000 petrol stations up and down the country, but for ease, a list of locations across the country which may be especially convenient for journalists wishing to get video footage/photographs etc. can be found here: For enquiries relating to the location of further participating petrol stations, please call the PRA communications office on 020 7307 3410

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