Fuel prices on the rise for fourth month in a row

Motorists are paying more money to fill up their cars this summer as the price of fuel increases for the fourth month in a row.

The average price of a litre of petrol now costs 143.6c, 4.6c more than in April.

The average price of a litre of diesel has also risen – consumers are currently paying 133.1c per litre, 2.6c more than last month.

The increases were recorded by the AA’s national fuel price survey. According to the new figures, a motorist putting 30 litres of petrol in their car each week will now pay €43.08, which is €1.38 a week more than only a month ago.

Someone putting 30 litres of diesel in their vehicle each week will pay 78c more.

But despite the hike, fuel prices are still lower than they were this time last year. Last summer the average price of a litre of petrol was 154.3c, while a litre of diesel was 146.8c.

“Prices fell in the second half of last year but have been rising since February,” said Conor Faughan from the AA. “It was only a short reprieve. The recent rise looks set to continue with the weakening Euro making it even worse. It will be an expensive summer on the roads.”

Mr Faughan said the main reason for the country’s high fuel prices is due to the Government’s tax, including an extra 23c per litre in austerity-era tax increases added since 2008. “When you spend €1.48 on a litre of petrol, 92c of it is tax. A tax-free litre, even with recent price rises, only costs 51.8c.”

Meanwhile, the European Consumer Centre (ECC) advises people thinking of buying a car to be wary of scams.

“Car purchase scams remain a persistent problem for consumers. In 2014, such scams accounted for 14% of all car purchase queries to ECC Ireland,” it said and cautioned against paying any money by bank transfer or to an escrow or delivery service.

“Fraudsters may ask consumers to send payment by bank transfer or via money wiring services, only for the seller and vehicle to disappear once the money is sent. This is particularly commonplace in internet transactions. Consumers may also be asked to send payment to an intermediary, such as an escrow company, who will then deliver the car to them. Consumers are often told that they will not have to pay if they are not happy with the vehicle. Unfortunately, in many cases, the intermediary disappears once the money has been sent.”

Consumers who fall victim to a scam are urged report it to Gardaí as soon as possible.

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