There has been some very slight relief at the pumps in recent weeks as the latest AA fuel price survey reveals that petrol and diesel prices both fell this month. Petrol dropped by 1.6 cent to an average of 151.3 cent per litre, while diesel fell more sharply, down 3.2 cent to an average of 142.8 nationwide.
“It is a question of being thankful for small mercies,” says AA director of policy Conor Faughnan. “For the first time in eight months petrol prices did not get any worse. The small drop is helpful, but we are still dealing with record high prices overall. We still have high oil prices combined with inflated Irish taxes. With both oil prices and the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar remaining volatile, we are not out of the woods yet.”
For petrol users, the current average price means that the cost of a month’s fuel for a typical motorist is now €227.55 (based on 12,000 miles per year at a fuel economy rate of 30 miles per gallon, typical for a mixture of urban and rural driving ).
The AA reminds diesel users that while it is always good advice to shop around for good value, they must be sensible about it.
Dodgy auto diesel can cost dearly
“Go to reputable garages and use your common sense,” says Faughnan. “There is no doubt that we have a problem out there with dodgy diesel. Earlier this month the Garda and Customs raided a fuel laundering plant in Co Monaghan with the capacity to produce 20 million litres per annum. That’s enough to supply 10 service stations all year round, which gives an idea of the scale of the problem.”
Drivers with laundered diesel in their tanks are guilty of a serious offence. In addition to the legal consequences – a fine of €5,000 is possible – motorists may damage their engines culminating in a costly repair.