Fuel Prices Stay High – Diesel up, Petrol down this month

Petrol prices in Ireland have dropped for the second consecutive month but only slightly and they remain very high, according to AA Ireland’s monthly fuel price comparison study.  Despite an average reduction of 1.2 cents on August prices, petrol in this country is still just 3.2 cents cheaper than the record high of 134.4 cents per litre reached last May.  Inversely, Diesel prices crept up by 0.7 cents to 123.9 cents per litre this month.

A year on year comparison reveals that motorists forked out 13.5 cents and 11.1 cent more for their petrol and diesel respectively than this time last year.  Part of that increase is caused by global factors but part is caused by the Carbon Tax.

The AA is again advising motorists that they can save a lot of money by being price conscious and shopping around for their petrol and diesel.

“It really is worth shopping around for the best value on fuel.” says AA’s Director of Policy, Conor Faughnan.  “It’s not uncommon for us to see a variance of 10 cents or more between the maximum and minimum fuel prices reported to us.”  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).

As ever, the global strength of the euro and the fluctuating price of oil, currently just under $75 per barrel down $1 on this time last month, continue to drive Ireland’s undulating fuel prices.  The carbon tax imposition of 4.2 cents per litre of petrol and 4.9 cents per litre of diesel, which has VAT imposed on top of it, contributed significantly to year on year inflation.

“Despite variations, prices have really stayed stubbornly high since last April or May.” Says Faughnan.

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.

Full details of the AA fuel price survey for August along with previous months for comparison, can be found on the Association’s website at www.aaireland.ie/AA/Motoring-advice/Petrol-Prices.aspx.  Full details on September prices are available upon request.  European price comparisons are also available on the site.

ENDS