The prices of petrol and diesel have surged upwards at the pumps again in the last month, according to the latest survey of retail prices from AA Ireland. A litre of petrol now costs 154.9 cent, up by a full 7 cent per litre since December. Diesel prices also rose sharply, up by 6.2 cent to an average of 153.1 cent in the last month.
That increase alone adds €10 per month to the cost of running a modest family car. The AA calculates that a car doing 12,000 miles per year at a fuel economy rate of 30 miles per gallon uses 150 litres of fuel per month; 7 cents per litre equates to just over €10 for petrol users and 6.2 cent per litre equates to €9.30 for diesel users.
“The bad news keeps coming and this is one of the biggest monthly rises in price that we have ever seen,” said director of policy Conor Faughnan. “These increases include the rise in VAT which came into force on January 1, which added approximately 2.4 cent per litre to the cost of both fuels. The rest of the increase is down to an increase in European prices.
“This is causing huge frustration right across Europe,” said Faughnan. “It is down to a combination of a falling euro and rises in the price of gasoline and diesel coming out of refineries. Unfortunately there is no sign of prices easing, and after a dreadful year in 2011 it appears that 2012 is starting off even worse.”
Rising fuel prices are now a serious threat to businesses and major drain on the disposable income of almost every family in the country.
“The cost of fuel has now reached crisis level. Even this early in the year, the government should look again at its budgeting and drop those super-taxes. As it stands nobody wins.”
AA’s fuel saving tips
• Buy fuel in units of litres, not euros. This makes it obvious where you get the best value.
• Shop around: do not always use the same garage out of habit.
• Drive smoothly and slowly; a harsh driving style burns more fuel.
• At this time of year the heaters are in constant use. This is hard to avoid but try to take it easy: Air conditioners can add up to 10 per cent to fuel usage.
• Service the car if it needs it – it will certainly save you fuel. AA members can have their car serviced on their own doorstep (or anywhere else ) by its mobile service team.
• A simple tip: check that the tyres are properly inflated. Soft tyres add significantly to fuel consumption.
Full details of the AA fuel price survey for May along with previous months for comparison are available on the association's website at www.aaireland.ie