PETER CHIVERS of Suffolk warns that petrol prices in France have risen sharply following an austerity budget imposed by the new government: 'Super grade petrol has risen from pounds 3.15 a gallon to pounds 3.35 a gallon (working on an exchange rate of Fr8/ pounds 1) - a 6 per cent rise.'

Mr Chivers says that a little money can be saved through buying petrol at hypermarkets such as Mammouth and Intermarche, but these outlets are not on the autoroutes. 'Remember: although unleaded petrol is easily obtainable in France, there is not the substantial price differential between leaded and unleaded that there is in the UK,' he adds.