Fuel cost calculator

Enter your information to help us calculate the cost of fuel for your car for a particular journey.

gocompare author
Eve Powell
Updated 10 January 2023  | 4 min read

Enter your vehicle registration, put in your departure and arrival destinations or mileage and click calculate. If you don't know the answers, you can simply estimate or select "Don't Know".

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Car fuel in the UK

Car fuel costs much more now than it used to and, according to RAC Fuel Watch, diesel prices are likely to increase even further.

Along with rising inflation and energy costs, these price hikes are affecting our bank balance and we’re having to adjust our driving habits to suit.

Many drivers are now trying to use their cars less to help keep costs down. But when using a car is necessary, a fuel calculator can help you save on petrol or diesel and driving more efficiently can mean spending less money at the pump.

How much does fuel cost?

The two most common car fuels are petrol and diesel. Petrol cars tend to be more common though and have a larger share of the new car market than diesel models.[2]

The cost of both fuels has risen considerably. In July 2022, the UK saw record highs when prices reached approximately 191p per litre for petrol and 199p for diesel.[3]

This contrasts with the previous July when the costs per litre were approximately 132p for petrol and 134p for diesel.

While prices have fallen since those peak numbers, the cost of filling an average car with fuel is still around £100 for diesel and £90 for petrol. In fact, on average, households are now paying more than £500 per year extra to run a medium-sized petrol car.[4]

What you pay for fuel is influenced by several factors, including the cost of crude oil (which is used to make petrol) and the value of the pound against the dollar.

What makes up the price of a litre of fuel?

The price you pay for petrol and diesel when you're at the pump depends on several distinct components, including:

  1. The price of crude oil - Wholesale fuel costs to the supplier account for 35% of the price of petrol and 41% for diesel, making up the largest percentage of what we pay for fuel[5]
  2. Fuel duty - The next largest factor for determining what we’re charged at the pump is the fuel duty or tax we need to pay
  3. VAT - On top of fuel duty, drivers also need to pay 20% tax in the form of VAT
  4. Delivery - Getting the fuel to the petrol stations is also taken into account when calculating the cost
  5. Retailer profit - The margin or markup retailers put on the wholesale price they pay and their operating costs can make up between 5% and 10% of pump fuel prices
  6. E10 - This is also known as bio content. The E refers to the ethanol content in the biofuel mix and its price can influence between 6% and 8% of the cost of petrol and diesel

Why do fuel prices vary by region?

How much you pay for fuel can vary widely depending on where you are in the UK. This can even be the case between neighbouring towns.

The main driver of local petrol prices is how much competition there is.

If an area has several petrol stations - particularly if this includes supermarket forecourts - it can help to lower petrol prices.

On the other hand, retailers in more remote spots usually charge higher prices as they sell less and still need to cover their overheads.

How can I find the cheapest fuel near me?

If you’re hitting the road or visiting a new area, it can be useful to know where you can find the best petrol prices.

We can help you compare costs to find the cheapest places to fill up nearby.

Using a petrol calculator can also help if you’re planning a route and want to know the fuel costs in advance.

Is diesel more efficient than petrol?

Although diesel and petrol are both made from crude oil, they have different properties which make them work differently.

Diesel fuel has a higher energy content and is also better at thermal efficiency. This makes diesel cars more economic than petrol for long distances.

However, diesel fuel costs more and the cars are typically more expensive than petrol equivalents.

Diesel engines also require a particulate filter to help reduce pollution. This needs to be run at faster speeds to stop it from getting clogged and causing damage.

If you mostly do shorter and low-speed journeys, a petrol or electric option is likely to be more economic.

Could I reduce my fuel costs with an electric car?

As well as being a greener choice, some drivers are also switching to electric vehicles (EVs) to avoid the rising cost of fossil fuels.

But while EVs can make refuelling more affordable, soaring energy prices are likely to eat into these savings.

For example, according to the RAC, the cost for using a public rapid charge point has increased by 42% since May 2022.

However, a home charging point should still be cheaper than using petrol or diesel, or recharging at a motorway service station.

And because EV running costs are typically much lower, you can also make savings here. But as electric cars generally have higher price tags, research commissioned by the AA[6] shows that many people still feel they’re too expensive to consider.

How to save fuel

Making some simple changes to your driving habits can mean spending less money at the petrol pump.

  1. Look after your car

    Regular maintenance and servicing can improve your fuel consumption. Even just having your tyres at the right pressure can make a difference

  2. Change up a gear

    Driving in the highest gear possible while keeping within the speed limit will help your engine to use less fuel

  3. Drive smoothly

    Read the road and don’t slam on the brakes. Gentle use of the accelerator and brake is better for fuel economy

  4. Carry less weight

    Removing weighty items you don’t need and taking off roof boxes and bike racks when not in use will make it easier for your car

  5. Plan ahead

    Avoid busy sections of road to prevent sitting in traffic. And if you have to stop for any length of time, turn your engine off rather than let it idle

  6. Combine your trips

    Engines are more efficient when they’re warm, so making one round trip instead of several shorter ones will help your car use less fuel

  7. Dress for the weather

    Using air conditioning and heating when you don’t really need it can increase your fuel consumption. Try adding or losing a layer of clothing instead


[1]The fuel price data is provided by Experian who are supplied by the petrol station companies as a feed daily

[2] Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in 2021

[3] RAC Fuel Watch in 2022

[4]The cost of filling up. RAC Foundation.

[5]Petrol and diesel prices. House of Commons Library.

[6]AA poll shows majority say EVs are too expensive and are unaware of Government grants. AA.

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