A breakdown of Irish fuel taxes and hikes


There are four forms of tax on fuel. One is excise duty, which is charged by the litre. The second is Carbon tax, which is charged by the tonne. The third is the ‘NORA’ levy (National Oil Reserves Agency) levy which is 2 cent per litre. All three of these taxes are charged in the same way in that they are fixed amounts per litre and do not fluctuate as the overall price increases. All three are subject to VAT at 23%.

Carbon Tax works out at 5.586 cent per litre of petrol, and 6.517 cent per litre of diesel. Both of those figures have VAT at 23% added to them.

Changes since the emergency budget of 2008:

October 2008                    8 cent per litre was added to excise duty on Petrol.

April 2009                            5 cent per litre was added to excise duty on Diesel.

December 2009                                Carbon Tax: – 4.2 cent Petrol and 4.9 per litre Diesel

December 2010                                Excise duty was increased by 4 cent per litre on Petrol and 2 cent on Diesel.

December 2011                Carbon tax was increased by 33% (from €15 to €20 per tonne) which including VAT is 1.4 cent Petrol & 1.6 cent Diesel.

December 2011                Vat increases from 21% to 23%. Vat is always added after all other taxes. 

Pre-budget December 2012

Excise duty figures are provided by the Department of Finance with the Carbon Tax included. The current rates are:

Petrol:                 587.71 per 1,000 litres                   

Diesel:                  479.02 per 1,000 litres

The fourth is VAT itself, which is of course a percentage and therefore does fluctuate as the price increases. A little confusingly this means that the more expensive that fuel gets, the less of a percentage of the total that is taken in tax even though the motorist is paying more tax (via VAT) 

On current prices*, the rate of taxation on both fuels is as follows:

Petrol :            Pump price                                                             €1.612  

                         Excise including carbon                                         58.771c

                         Nora                                                                             2c

                         Vat                                                                30.2c

                         Total taxes:                                                90.971c

                         Pre-tax price                                             70.229c

                         Tax as %                                                       54.5%   

 Diesel :            Pump price                                                            €1.560

                         Excise including carbon                                         57.902c

                         Nora                                                                             2c

                         Vat                                                                29.17c

                         Total taxes:                                                89.072c

                         Pre-tax price                                             66.928c

                         Tax as %                                                       57.1% 

 *AA has a monthly index of fuel prices, out 2nd week each month. In fact right now the AA estimates prices at €1.60 for petrol and €1.56 for diesel