As a starting point, it is important to note that without the official price cap, the population could buy petrol for HUF 768 and diesel for HUF 751 instead of HUF 480 per litre.1
Hungarian households can save an average of HUF 21,000 in June with the fuel price cap
In November 2021, the Hungarian government maximised the retail price of petrol and diesel at the level of HUF 480/litre, extending its measure in several steps until 1 July. Given the dramatic increase in fuel prices in European countries, Századvég has examined how much Hungarians could save through the government’s fuel price cap, considering the frequency of car use.
Hungarian families can save tens of thousands of forints
If world market prices applied in June, Hungarian motorists would have to pay an average of HUF 21,000 more for fuel,
based on their average monthly fuel consumption of 76 litres.2 It is interesting that currently a total of 2.4 million households in Hungary use a car, so the savings mentioned affect about 5.5 million people.
Fuel price cap is a vital aid to commuters
The savings to be achieved through the fuel price cap vary depending on the frequency of car use in each household. Based on the average monthly fuel consumption per household, we can distinguish
- occasional car users (who refuel their car less than once a month, consume an average of 17 litres of fuel per month, accounting for 20 percent of car users),
- average car users (who refuel their car once a month, consume an average of 48 litres of fuel per months, accounting for 40 percent of car users),
- more frequent car users (who refuel their car more than once a month but less than twice a month, consume an average of 88 litres of fuel per month, accounting for 20 percent of car users), and
- intensive car users (who refuel their car more than twice a month, consume an average of 182 litres of fuel per month, accounting for 20 percent of car users).
While occasional car users can save an average of HUF 4,800 per month,
average car users who refuel their car once a month can save an average of HUF 13,000 per month due to the fuel price cap.
Among more frequent car users (who fully refuel their car twice a month), an average of HUF 24,000 can be saved per month due to a cap on the price of petrol and diesel. More frequent than average car use is not necessarily for convenience and is not limited to the affluent.
In the case of commuters, more intensive car use is a direct consequence of meeting work obligations, thus maintaining a moderate level of fuel prices is particularly important for this group of motorists.
Considering this fact, intensive car users (who fully fuel their car more than twice a month) can save an average of HUF 50,000 per month due to the government measure.
1 Fuel prices were calculated from the average market prices of Holtankoljak.hu (https://holtankoljak.hu/uzemanyag_arvaltozasok#1348) on 3 June (95 octane petrol: HUF 767.9/l; diesel HUF 750.9/l).
2 The consumption data of households were estimated on the basis of the latest available Household Budget and Living Conditions Survey of 2019 conducted by the Central Statistical Office.