The cost of driving home for Christmas is on the rise for motorists as the average price of a litre of petrol rose by 1c and diesel by 1.3c in the last month according to the latest AA Fuel Price Index.
The AA's analysis shows that the average price of a litre of petrol now sits at 131.4c per litre with a litre of diesel costing an average of 121c.
Petrol now costs 10.3c per litre more than this year's low of 121.1c seen in March, while the average price of a litre of diesel has increased by over 15c compared to the 2016 low of 105.4c per litre in February.
Conor Faughnan from the AA stated: “Coming into the Christmas period the latest increase is another piece of bad news for motorists.
"While the month-on-month increase may not appear too significant, it certainly appears that the dip in fuel prices seen earlier this year has come to an end and based off the current trend it may be quite some time before we see prices drop again.”
Unfortunately for motorists, with prices climbing for the third successive month, more bad news may be on the way as further. Within the last month the price of a barrel of oil has increased by almost $10.00 and following an OPEC agreement to temporarily reduce oil production further increases may be on the way.
A weaker Euro also counts against motorists in Ireland.
“We can be confident about short term trends in fuel prices because we know the key factors – the oil price, the dollar vs euro exchange rate and European wholesale prices.
"Unfortunately all of those indicators are currently pointing in the wrong direction for motorists so the signs are not good. Whether that trend continues as we get into 2017 is something we don’t know but prior years tell us to expect volatility.”
“Ultimately while we have little control over the international events and agreements which impact on oil prices, one thing that is within Irish control is the extent to which petrol and diesel are taxed,” Faughnan added.
“Emergency taxes added to the cost of petrol and diesel during the worst years of the recession have never been removed. While the emergency has come to an end the era of emergency taxes goes on, the removal of these taxes would save the average motorist approximately €400 per year."