Motorists face increasing fuel costs, says AA

Conor Faughnan: Prices may continue to rise.

The period of cheap petrol and diesel costs appears to be at an end, with fuel prices on the rise. Increases are being applied just four months after the price of diesel fell below €1 per litre, for the first time since 2009.

According to an AA survey of national fuel prices, a litre of petrol now costs an average of 129.1 cents — up 3.1c while diesel rose 2.1c to 113.2c per litre.

The study shows a monthly €4.65 average has been added to the cost of filling up a car that runs on 150 litres of petrol a month, with a typical motorist spending around €193.65 per month on fuel. The rising prices at the pump are the result of the recent upswing in the cost of oil, now at $47 per barrel — up from $44 last month.

Commenting on the rising prices, AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said fluctuations in the global oil market were “far removed” from the consumer at the pump.

“Much has been said about oil producers appearing to edge closer towards limiting their output and the growth in prices would seem to be reflective of recent headlines. Huge trades made on international exchanges are far removed from the consumer,” he said.

“In fact, you can sometimes see price movements even throughout a single day as trading can get spooked in response to headlines. It settles down on a longer timeline and, for now, we are only seeing the minor side effects of rumoured oil production limits.”

Mr Faughnan said prices could continue to increase further in the coming months. “The bigger issue is tax and of your €190 or so monthly fuel bill nearly €130 goes directly to the Government in tax. If oil pursues its current pattern we could see fuel prices continue to accumulate well into 2016.

“We would like to see the new Government remove the austerity taxes slapped on between 2008 and 2012 by their predecessors. This is nothing short of an anti-stimulus measure and is effectively taking money out of the pockets of consumers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Trinity College Dublin scientists have discovered a cheaper way to produce hydrogen which could, in the near future, revolutionise fuel to drive cars.


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