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Motoring Costs Fall 3.4% in 2010

Fuel Prices up on last year but new car prices and servicing costs down

The cost of running a family car in Ireland has fallen by 3.4% per cent in the last 12 months, according to the AA's annual survey of motoring costs. It now costs €11,171 to run a small family car in the 'Band C' tax category (typical engine size of 1251 – 1500cc) for a year; down by €397 on the figure for 2009.

"The bad news is rising fuel prices which are up sharply over the past year costing motorists dearly. In June 2009 petrol cost 116 cent per litre, it has risen dramatically in the last year, and is up by 14.9% to 133.3 cent per litre. That difference alone costs the average motorist an extra €26 per month compared to this time last year.*" Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan.

On a brighter note, the cost of buying a new car in Ireland has fallen by 3.42% on average, with still more significant falls in the cost of higher-end cars.  The cost of car Insurance in Ireland is actually down on last year but only very slightly, dropping by 1.3%. However car insurance prices had risen a whopping 9% in 2009 so it remains an ongoing high cost to motorists.

“Insurance costs are still a major concern, with motorists encouraged to shop around and to look at the nature of their cover. It is one of the biggest bills that motorists pay, but there are ways of getting it down.”

Interest rates continue at historically low levels for the second year running. The fall in new car prices is evident across a broad range of models but was more significant at the higher end of the market. Prices fell substantially for luxury premium cars. The AA also noted small reductions in items like servicing and parking which were in line with the overall inflation figure for the year.

The AA calculations show that a car that achieves 30 miles per gallon (9.5 litres per 100kms) and does 1600 kilometres per year will use 1500 litres of fuel. Last year that cost worked out at €1,740. This year the cost has risen by 15% to €2,000.

AA figures are currently based on petrol usage, rather than diesel. Diesel cars account for roughly 20% of private cars on the road – a figure that is certain to increase over time. Over 65% of new cars sales so far in 2010 are diesel models, and this trend appears set to continue. For diesel users, fuel price hikes were more dramatic. The retail price of diesel rose by 20% from 104 cent per litre to 124.9 cent per litre this year. Diesel drivers now pay on average €32 more per month than this time last year.


* a car that does 19,200 kms or 12,000 miles per year at a fuel economy rate of 30 miles per gallon will use 150 litres of fuel per month.

The AA calculates the total cost of motoring in Ireland for different categories of car based on an annual mileage of 10,000 or 16,000 kilometers. Included are all motoring related costs, from depreciation to interest on capital to servicing and petrol. The figures are then broken down into ‘cost per kilometre’ and form the basis for mileage allowances paid by many companies to their employees.                

The cost per kilometre for a small car works out at 70.63 cent up from 69.73 cent last year. Small family car is taken as tax Band C, roughly equivalent to the 1251 - 1500cc band for cars registered before July 2008.

AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.