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David Neal

Petrol prices leap across Europe

Motorists looking to rent a car on holiday or take their own cars to Europe could face high prices at the pumps, as fuel coasts have soared in popular European

The cost of a litre of fuel has increased by an eye-watering 82% on the Continent since 2007. Popular holiday destinations such as Italy, France, Spain, and Switzerland now offer the worst value for motorists.

Figures from the Post Office show that motorists will now have to fork out an average of £1.37 a litre in Switzerland, up 82% from 2007.

France, Spain and Italy have seen the average prices accelerate by 60% in the last five years.

British holidaymakers heading over to Italy and France by car this summer will be paying £1.67 and £1.48 per litre respectively for unleaded fuel.

Despite sky-high petrol prices, the survey highlighted that British holidaymakers are not put off. Only 8% of those questioned said that the high fuel prices would deter them from driving to Europe.

"UK holidaymakers are not deterred by the high fuel prices they will find when driving in some countries this summer,” said Andrew Brown, the Post Office's head of travel money.

"A good tip is to fill up before leaving the UK if travelling to France or Belgium in a petrol car, divert into Luxembourg if travelling south through eastern France or detour into Andorra en route to Spain.”

Drivers with diesel vehicles are in luck, as the cost of filling up in Europe is cheaper than in Britain.

"If you are driving a diesel car, fill up as soon as you arrive on the continent as it is much cheaper in Europe than in the UK,” added Mr Brown.

Holiday car rental costs could be reduced further by visiting destinations which offer better value. The research found that Luxembourg and Andorra offer the best value for motorists.