The average price of both petrol and diesel has increased according to the AA’s latest fuel prices survey, bringing an end to a one month reprieve for motorists where prices had fallen slightly.
A litre of petrol now costs an average of 137.6c, up from an average of 137.0c in March of this year. Meanwhile, diesel prices currently sit at an average of 127.1c per litre, up from 126.5 last month. While both fuels remain below their 2018 highs of 138.2c for petrol and 127.3c for diesel, the latest increases brings an end to a brief one month reprieve for motorists after prices fell last month, marking the first drop at the pumps since July 2017.
“Motorists would have been hoping that the dip in pump prices that we saw last month was the beginning of a new trend, but unfortunately it appears that that was the exception and not the rule. While prices are still down slightly on their 2018 highs, many motorists will be feeling the effect of rising prices and the ever increasing cost of commuting to work,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “One of the messages we regularly preach when discussing car insurance is the importance of shopping around, but motorists should apply this same behaviour to their fuel purchasing habits.”
“Many of us develop a behaviour of going to the same garage every time we need fuel, never taking the time to actually compare prices in our area. Over the course of conducting this research we found prices ranging from over 4c below the national average to over 3c above, so taking the time to check pump prices at a number of garages in your town can help you save.”
Among the key reasons for the latest spike in fuel prices is a continued increase in the cost of crude oil. Having fallen to below $64 per barrel in early March, crude oil prices have rebounded and are currently floating between $70 and $72 per barrel.
“Over the past few months crude oil prices have been quite volatile which is a contributing factor to the spikes and temporary dips that motorists have seen at the pumps throughout 2018. Since the beginning of March alone we have seen crude oil prices rise from a low of under $64 per barrel to their current level of over $71 per barrel, with motorists paying for these fluctuations at the pump,” Faughnan added. “Having a significant say on these kind of international factors is beyond the scope of Ireland’s power, but what is very much under our control is the crazily high rate of tax we put on both petrol and diesel. If we want to avoid people finding themselves in a situation where they struggle to afford the cost of commuting to work we either need to reassess our current tax rates on fuel or see government commit to seriously improving public transport in cities across the country and in rural Ireland.”