The price of crude oil has risen steeply since the turn of the millennium. In Germany, this price rise has been somewhat cushioned by the appreciation of the euro against the US dollar. For consumers, the increase in the oil price has been most evident at the petrol pump. The petrol price increases of the last few years effect the rise in the cost of raw materials. Fuel taxes have remained unchanged for some time, but continue to be the crucial factor in the overall high level of fuel prices.