Gas Taxes in Europe

August 12, 2021

To facilitate and foster cross-border trade and to prevent significant competitive distortions, the European Union requires EU countries to levy a minimum excise duty of €0.36 per liter (US $1.55 per gallon) on gas. As today’s map shows, only Bulgaria and Hungary stick to the minimum rate, while all other EU countries opt to levy higher excise duties on gas.

Gas Taxes in Europe, 2021

The Netherlands has the highest gas tax in the European Union, at €0.81 per liter ($3.51 per gallon). Italy is second, at €0.73 per liter ($3.14 per gallon), followed by Finland and Greece, which have a tax of €0.72 and €0.70 per liter ($3.13 and $3.02 per gallon), respectively.

The lowest gas tax is in Hungary, at €0.34 per liter ($1.49 per gallon), as the Hungarian rate is set in its domestic currency, the Forint, resulting in a rate slightly below the EU minimum after exchange rate fluctuations. The next lowest are Bulgaria (€0.36 per liter or $1.57 per gallon) and Poland and Romania (both at €0.37 per liter or $1.61 per gallon).

Around thirty percent of new passenger vehicles in the European Union are diesel vehicles. Therefore, many European consumers face excise duties on diesel instead of gas. The EU sets a slightly lower minimum excise duty of €0.33 per liter ($1.42 per gallon) on diesel.

Twenty-five out of 27 EU countries levy a lower excise duty on diesel than on gas. Both the United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the EU, and Belgium levy the same rate on the two fuel types, while Slovenia taxes diesel at a rate of €0.01 ($0.08 per gallon), higher than its rate on unleaded gasoline. The average excise duty on gas is €0.56 per liter ($2.40 per gallon) in Europe, and €0.44 per liter ($1.91 per gallon) on diesel.

The United Kingdom levies the highest excise duty on diesel, at €0.65 per liter ($2.81 per gallon), followed by Italy (€0.62 per liter or $2.66 per gallon), and Belgium (€0.60 per liter or $2.59 per gallon).

The countries with the lowest excise duties on diesel are Hungary, at €0.32 per liter ($1.37 per gallon), again below the minimum rate due to the exchange rate, followed by Bulgaria and Poland, which both charge duties of €0.33 per liter ($1.43 per gallon).

All EU countries also levy a value-added tax (VAT) on gas and diesel. The excise amounts shown in the map above relate only to excise taxes and do not include the VAT, which is charged on the sales value of gas and diesel.

Excise Duties on Gas and Diesel in the European Union and the United Kingdom, as of July 2021
  Gas Tax Diesel Tax
  Per Liter in EUR Per Gallon in USD Rank Per Liter in EUR Per Gallon in USD Rank

Austria (AT)

€ 0.48 $2.08 20 € 0.40 $1.71 16

Belgium (BE)

€ 0.60 $2.59 12 € 0.60 $2.59 3

Bulgaria (BG)

€ 0.36 $1.57 27 € 0.33 $1.43 26

Croatia (HR)

€ 0.51 $2.20 16 € 0.40 $1.75 16

Cyprus (CY)

€ 0.43 $1.85 24 € 0.40 $1.73 16

Czech Republic (CZ)

€ 0.48 $2.06 20 € 0.37 $1.60 21

Denmark (DK)

€ 0.64 $2.76 9 € 0.43 $1.88 12

Estonia (EE)

€ 0.56 $2.43 13 € 0.37 $1.61 21

Finland (FI)

€ 0.72 $3.13 3 € 0.51 $2.21 7

France (FR)

€ 0.68 $2.95 5 € 0.59 $2.56 4

Germany (DE)

€ 0.65 $2.83 7 € 0.47 $2.03 9

Greece (GR)

€ 0.70 $3.02 4 € 0.41 $1.77 13

Hungary (HU)*

€ 0.34 $1.49 28 € 0.32 $1.37 28

Ireland (IE)

€ 0.62 $2.67 11 € 0.52 $2.22 5

Italy (IT)

€ 0.73 $3.14 2 € 0.62 $2.66 2

Latvia (LV)

€ 0.51 $2.20 16 € 0.41 $1.79 13

Lithuania (LT)

€ 0.47 $2.01 22 € 0.37 $1.61 21

Luxembourg (LU)

€ 0.52 $2.23 15 € 0.40 $1.75 16

Malta (MT)

€ 0.55 $2.37 14 € 0.41 $1.78 13

Netherlands (NL)

€ 0.81 $3.51 1 € 0.52 $2.25 5

Poland (PL)

€ 0.37 $1.61 25 € 0.33 $1.43 26

Portugal (PT)

€ 0.67 $2.88 6 € 0.51 $2.22 7

Romania (RO)

€ 0.37 $1.62 25 € 0.34 $1.48 25

Slovakia (SK)

€ 0.51 $2.22 16 € 0.37 $1.59 21

Slovenia (SI)

€ 0.45 $1.92 23 € 0.46 $2.00 10

Spain (ES)

€ 0.50 $2.18 19 € 0.38 $1.64 20

Sweden (SE)**

€ 0.64 $2.77 9 € 0.45 $1.95 11

United Kingdom (GB)

€ 0.65 $2.81 7 € 0.65 $2.81 1

Average

€ 0.56 $2.40   € 0.44 $1.91  

Minimum Rate

€ 0.36 $1.55   € 0.33 $1.42  

Source: European Commission, “Taxes in Europe Database,” https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tedb/splSearchForm.html; and HM Revenue & Customs, “UK Trade Tariff: excise duties, reliefs, drawbacks and allowances,” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-trade-tariff-excise-duties-reliefs-drawbacks-and-allowances/uk-trade-tariff-excise-duties-reliefs-drawbacks-and-allowances.

Notes: The excise duties apply to petroleum and diesel with a sulphur content of < 10 mg/kg, RON 95 (gas), bioethanol content, and, if applicable, include carbon taxes and surcharges.
The excise duties were converted into USD using the average 2020 USD-EUR exchange rate (0.877), see IRS, “Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates,” https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/yearly-average-currency-exchange-rates.
*Hungary’s rate is set in its domestic currency, resulting in a rate slightly below the EU minimums upon conversion to Euros. Additionally, Hungary’s excise duty increases to EUR 0.36 per liter for gas and EUR 0.35 per liter for diesel if the world market price of crude oil is at or below 50 USD/barrel.

**The listed excise duties were taken from the rates applied to environmental class 1 gas and diesel.

Was this page helpful to you?

No

Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles

A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax assessed on the value added in each production stage of a good or service. Every business along the value chain receives a tax credit for the VAT already paid. The end consumer does not, making it a tax on final consumption.

An excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local tax collections.

A carbon tax is levied on the carbon content of fossil fuels. The term can also refer to taxing other types of greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane. A carbon tax puts a price on those emissions to encourage consumers, businesses, and governments to produce less of them.