No surprises as AA Monthly fuel index shows record high prices

The countrywide average price of a litre of unleaded petrol is now 149.4 cent, up 4.9 cent on the previous record from February. Diesel rose even more sharply, surging 6.5 cent to its new record high of 145.0 cent, according to the AA’s monthly fuel price survey.

“This comes as no surprise to Irish motorists as we have seen these price rises at the pumps in the last few weeks.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “We have set new all time records every month since December.”

“Oil prices have been higher before – they were significantly higher in 2008 – but that was before a succession of tax increases were applied by the previous government. We now have very high fuel taxes layered on top of high oil prices, and hence the prices we are paying as consumers.” 

The average motorist now pays €224.10 for fuel in a month, of which €127.74 (57%) is tax. 

There is some hope that prices will fall back from their record levels, at least in the short term, as the AA is expecting price reductions to come through to the pumps in the coming few weeks. Oil prices have moderated somewhat on world markets but whether that will be a sustained trend or not is a matter for speculation.

The horrendous situation in Japan, which has affected so many innocent people, appears to be one of the global factors reducing the oil price. The damage to one of the world’s major economies appears to be hitting expected oil demand at least in the short term. 

“Nobody wants cheap fuel to be brought about by such awful tragedy.” Says Faughnan. “But it does illustrate what a connected world we live in. It also tells us that if nothing else we can be sure that energy prices will be volatile. From the point of view of the Irish consumer and the Irish economy it means we are on a roller coaster once again. Three years ago the oil price hit €150 per barrel. Were that to happen again we would see our petrol price go to approximately €1.67 per litre unless the Government does something about those dreadful taxes.” 

The AA is asking its Members and all motorists to share their concerns about prices and report any issues they come across via its website blog section, http://blog.aaireland.ie/ 

ENDS/More

Note 2: The 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: don’t 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% to fuel usage.
  • Don’t use the air conditioning all the time: once the air conditioning has heated the inside of the car, you may be able to turn it down or off.

Full details of the AA fuel price survey for February along with previous months for comparison, will be posted on the Association’s website at http://www.aaireland.ie/AA/Motoring-advice/Petrol-Prices.aspx on Monday 21st February.

4 comments

  1. My questions are: How come flling stations are allowed to up their fuel prices at anytime without prior notification to the general public? There are countries in the world that have a set price for fuel and when it has to increase the public are made aware of how much the fuel will increase and when.

    Why is it that as soon as oil goes up in price, filling stations increase their prices that same day.
    Right, so from the minute the oil price is increased, how long does that take the oil to be pumped from the ground, shipped to where ever and finally made into fuel and then poured into our motor vehicle fuel tanks? Several months, weeks surely not that same day?

    We are been ripped off big time by all the filling stations including one that is on the M1 motor way which has a high price for their fuel but their slogan is low prices always. yeah what a laugh…….rip off!!!!! simples

    We all know that Irish fuel costs are ridiculous.

    Yours etc

    Allan mathew

  2. I was just wondering why is it that diesel prices were nearly 8c-10c cheaper than petrol and now there’s a smaller difference? Are the garages putting up the price of diesel because there’s more diesel car’s on the road?

  3. Hi Allan – Fuel prices were deregulated back in 1991, and since then garages are free to charge whatever they like. If you own a garage and you think your customers will pay it, you can charge €10 a litre. But it goes both ways – the old system saw prices effectively set by govt, and that meant no competition. On the whole deregulation has probably served us well. There is bad value out there but there is good value as well.

    We are frequently asked about garages putting prices up faster than they reduce them in response to oil price movements. We have studied that and the evidence is that it does not happen systematically. When you look at average prices nationally they do generally trend in a way that faithfully follows the oil price / product price. But as my old economics professor used to say ‘when your head is in the oven and your backside is in the freezer, on the average you are comfortable’. We do have stories about garages chancing their arm, but they are individual stories and there just isn’t evidence of conspiracy or cartel.

    The trick really is to shop around. You’ll get better value as an individual and the more of us who do so the better the level of competition in the market.

    Regards,

    Conor

Comments are closed.