The UK Government is to reduce fuel duty by 5p per litre from 6pm tonight, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced.

Giving his Spring Statement, Sunak said the cut would be in place for 12 months.

He described the measure as: “The biggest cut to all fuel duty rates ever.”

Soaring fuel prices have been seen at UK filling stations in recent weeks, with previous record prices being smashed.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, Zenith Commercial CEO and group strategy director Martin Jenkins said: “We’re pleased to see the Chancellor taking measures to reduce fuel costs for UK motorists who pay the fifth-highest cost for fuel in Europe. This reduction will help fleet operators who have seen the cost of diesel rise by 40% over the last 12 months, with prices 30p per litre more expensive than the start of the year.

“However, rising fuel costs is just one of many factors that have hit commercial fleets hard recently. Operators will need support to navigate the short-term cost pressures as they take the significant leap into zero-emission transport models over the next decade. 

“We hope this is just the start of further measures taken by the government and that the critical role played by commercial fleets will be given due consideration as motoring taxation policy evolves to accompany that transition.”

Giving her reaction, Logistics UK director of policy Elizabeth de Jong said: “With average fuel prices reaching the highest level on record and rising inflation, there has been an unstainable burden on logistics businesses which operate on very narrow margins of around 1%; the Chancellor’s decision today will help to ensure operators can continue to afford supplying the nation with all the goods it needs, including food, medicine and other essential items.”