Petrol pump prices in the UK still routinely contain the largest proportion of tax in the EU.
This is despite fuel duty having been frozen since March 2011.
Calculations by the RAC Foundation show 61 per cent of the price of a litre of unleaded petrol and 59 per cent of the price of a litre of diesel go to the chancellor in fuel duty and VAT.
This means that, of the 28 countries in the EU, it is UK drivers who pay the highest proportion of tax for diesel and the second highest for petrol.
Only Sweden is at comparable levels.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “On March 19, the Chancellor will deliver his budget. He has made much of the fact that fuel duty has not risen for three years.
“However, this has made little impact on the huge proportion of tax the UK’s 36 million drivers pay on their fuel.
“The irony is that, if you take tax out of the equation, we actually have the fifth cheapest diesel in the EU and the second cheapest petrol.”
Mr Glaister added: “With the poorest car owners now spending as much as a third of their income on buying and running a vehicle, and with a record number of people now commuting to work by car, there are plenty of reasons why the Chancellor should consider going beyond his promise to continue the fuel duty freeze and actually cut the rate further.”
RAC Foundation research shows that some 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households in the UK spend about a third of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle.
RAC Foundation analysis also shows that a record 16.7 million people in England and Wales are reliant on a car to get to work: 15.3 million as drivers and 1.4 million as passengers.