The rural fuel rebate scheme will be extended to 17 new areas from May 31, with retailers able to register for the scheme from April 1, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced.

The Rural Fuel Rebate has been approved by the European Union (EU) following a year-long process. It is the first time the EU has approved a fuel discount on the UK mainland, as it is currently only available on the UK’s most rural islands.

Alexander said: "Motorists across some of the UK’s most remote rural areas will now benefit from a fuel discount."