Motorists were thrown a small crumb of good news in October as petrol and diesel prices fell for the first time in four months to bring petrol back beneath the €1.70 mark to an average of €1.68 per litre.
This represents an average month on month decrease of 2.2 cents a litre of petrol. Diesel also fell slightly by 1.3 cents a litre bringing the average cost to €1.59 according to the AA monthly fuel price index.
The AA indicates that an improved performance of the euro against the dollar during September and on into October is likely to have contributed to this. The average cost of a barrel of brent crude oil, when priced in euros, dropping by 3.6% between August and September of this year it reports.
The AA is however quick to point out that prices are still just painfully short of record prices and significantly higher than they were at the beginning of the year with petrol still 13 cent a litre dearer than in January.
“We still have a fuel price crisis and it is still the number one issue for motorists, affecting 1.36 million Irish households.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “The government must recognize this and act on it in the forthcoming budget.”
The AA is critical of the government’s fuel taxation policy which sees about 55% of pump prices go to the exchequer. “Families are really going to feel the pressure of high energy costs this winter.” Comments Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland. “It’ll cost them more to run their homes and petrol remains ruinously expensive thanks to our ludicrous fiscal policies. A lot of drivers have been forced to cut out unnecessary journeys and sadly many honest hard working families will have to forgo trips this Christmas.”
The AA is also advising drivers to prepare themselves for another financial blow with motor tax price increases likely to be announced in December’s budget. December will also see the implementation of the Gender Equalization ruling meaning females drivers, particularly those under the age of thirty, will see their motor insurance premiums rise.
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.
Service the car if it needs it – it will certainly save you fuel. AA Members can have their car serviced on their own doorstep (or anywhere else) by its mobile Service Team.
A simple tip: check that the tyres are properly inflated. Soft tyres add significantly to fuel consumption.