Almost one in 10 motorists suspect that they have been sold laundered fuel in the past, according to new research from AA Ireland.
The survey, which was carried out in April also found that 55% of those who suspect that they were sold laundered fuel also believed that their car was damaged as a result.
Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at the AA said: “We have seen a number of reports recently of seizures of laundered fuel and while there have been significant improvements made in tackling this issue the problem hasn’t been wiped out as of yet.”
“While fuel prices have been dropping in the past months, average prices for petrol and diesel are still approximately 7c higher per litre than August 2016.
“As a result of the higher prices motorists are keen to save anywhere they can and because of this may be tempted by a dealer offering fuel at unrealistically low prices.
“While it is important to shop around when it comes to purchasing petrol or diesel to ensure you make savings where you can, it’s also important to use common sense when it comes to prices. If the deal seems too good to be true then it’s very likely that the fuel your purchasing is not up to scratch.”
The survey, which had over 3,000 respondents, revealed that overall, motorists in Ulster were most suspicious – with 16.67% believing they may have been sold laundered fuel, while Munster motorists were least suspicious, with 6.89% suspecting that they had been sold laundered fuel, compared to a nationwide average of 9%.
“If you suspect that you may have been sold laundered fuel, you should report it to the service station”, Faughnan added.
“The AA offer Fuel Assist, which will have the fuel drained and refilled with regulated fuel, and the contaminated fuel is then recycled”.
In a county-by county breakdown, Cavan and Monaghan motorists proved to be the most suspicious, with 30.48% of motorists in Cavan believing they had been sold laundered fuel, while 28.57% of motorists in Monaghan also suspected the same.
Motorists in counties Waterford and Mayo proved to be the least suspicious – with just 1.72% of those surveyed from Waterford and 2.78% of drivers in Mayo suspicious about the fuel they had purchased.