Fuel rebate extended

People living across seventeen of the UK’s most rural communities will be able to benefit from a 5 pence per litre fuel price cut from today.

The government's rural fuel rebate scheme will allow 125,000 people living in the selected areas, who currently face some of the highest fuel prices in the country despite depending on cars for transport, to benefit from cheaper fuel.

While the UK's most rural islands already receive this discount, this is the first time ever that the EU has approved this fuel discount anywhere in mainland Europe.

Damian Hinds, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: "People living in some of the UK’s most rural areas will now benefit from a 5p per litre fuel discount thanks to the Rural Fuel Rebate, which effectively comes into force today.

"Fuel is often more expensive in very rural areas, even though cars are more of a necessity. However, people in seventeen areas ranging from the Highlands to Devon will now be able to buy cheaper fuel, making travelling to work and school far easier."

RAC Foundation Director Steve Gooding, said: "This is good news for tens of thousands of drivers living in the farthest reaches of the UK, but they are not alone in worrying about fuel prices. So do the rest of the country's 37 million drivers.

"Oil prices have rebounded 50% since the lows we saw at the start of the year and pump prices are up 9p or 10p over the same period."

"The big question is: what will happen in the emergency Budget on July 8? Most motorists will hope that, at the very least, the Chancellor sticks to his pre-election promise of keeping fuel duty frozen.

View the seventeen areas which will benefit from the price cut here. These areas have been selected using the following criteria:

Pump price threshold: pump prices have to be more expensive than the lowest pump price on the islands in the existing scheme, during the months examined

Cost of transporting fuel: areas have to be over 100 miles by road from the nearest refinery

Population density: the population density must be no higher than any area in the current scheme

Retailers in selected areas could register from 1 April, and the scheme will begin to effect consumers today following a 60-day time lag.

Areas that did not adequately fulfil these criteria were not included in the application, as the government considered them to be unlikely to receive approval from the EU.

Retailers of road fuel within these geographical areas are eligible to register with HMRC and to claim back 5 pence per litre duty relief on purchases of unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within the eligible areas. They are entitled to claim the relief from HMRC on a monthly basis.

HM Treasury

Peter Thomas

Author:Peter Thomas
Date Updated:1st Jun 2015

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