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/
Note 2: The AA’s Fuel Saving Tips.
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.