Fuel prices down slightly this month but up nearly 20% year on year

The cost of petrol decreased marginally this month from 133.3 cents per litre to 132.4 on average, the lowest price since April of this year.  Despite the slight reprieve, overall, petrol is up 18.5% on the same time last year.  Diesel is down 1.7 cents on average this month to 123.2 cents, again the lowest since April.  This represents a 13.5% price increase on this time last year for diesel. 

The AA is now inviting motorists to report on fuel prices in their area via the AA website, www.aaireland.ie/fuel.

As back to school time approaches, fueling your car this Summer has been far costlier than in 2009.  During the June to August period, petrol and diesel prices have increased 16.5% and 20% respectively year on year.  Despite the higher prices, a recent AA Travel Insurance poll reveals that one in four have or are planning to spend their main holiday in Ireland this year.

“Whilst a decrease in prices is welcome, prices remain high.  The annual rate of inflation on fuel has been enormous” says AA’s Director of Policy Conor Faughnan.  “This has implications for our tourism industry as well as for ordinary motorists, particularly now during our peak season.  Higher fuel prices are eating into profit margins for businesses as well as the pockets of consumers. ”

The strength of the euro and oil prices, currently $75.39 per barrel, continue to drive price fluctuations at our pumps.  Prices will vary by as much as 8 to 10 cents per litre between the most expensive garages and the cheapest ones. The AA reiterates its advice to motorists to shop around for fuel. Saving even 5 cents per litre will mean keeping an extra €7.50 in your pocket every month (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 liters of fuel per month).   

The AA’s Fuel Saving Tips for Summer 2010.
• Buy fuel in units of litres, not euros. This makes it obvious where you get the best value
• Shop around: don’t always use the same garage out of habit
• Drive smoothly and slowly; a harsh driving style burns more fuel
• Load luggage on your roof rack as low as possible and wrap the luggage tightly in plastic sheeting or consider using a roof box to reduce the effect on fuel economy. If you are staying in the same place, it is worth removing the roof rack/box before driving to beaches and tourist attractions – but make sure you don’t lose any of the bits.
• Try your air vents first before opening windows: you may find that the airflow is enough to keep two people comfortable in the front of the car, particularly on a motorway. Air conditioners can add up to 10% to fuel usage.
• Don’t use the air conditioning all the time: once the air conditioning has cooled the inside of the car, you may be able to turn it down or off. Don’t start the air conditioning if doors or windows are open.
• If you are carrying extra passengers or heavy luggage, pump up the tyres to compensate for the extra weight. The car’s handbook gives advice on this.
• If you park in the sun, using a windscreen shade and opening up the car as soon as you get back to it will help to cool the interior. Opening windows while you drive out of a car park may lower the inside temperature several degrees before you start the air conditioning.

The AA offer comprehensive motor insurance policies which includes lifetime NCD protection for fire, theft, and glass claims. Call the AA on 1890 72 74 76 for further details or go to vist our website.

Full details of the AA fuel price survey for August along with previous months for comparison, anEuropean Price Comparisons can be found on the Association’s website.