AA survey finds rise in fuel prices after short-lived drop

The average price of both petrol and diesel has increased, according to the AA’s latest fuel prices survey.

It brings 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 while average diesel prices currently are 127.1c per litre, up from 126.5 last month.

When prices fell last month, it marked the first drop at the pumps since July 2017.

According to the AA’s research, motorists in Dublin can expect to pay almost 1c per litre more than the national average on both fuels.

The average price of a litre of petrol in Dublin is currently 138.5c per litre, while a litre of diesel in Dublin will cost 128.0c on average.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said. “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.

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."

He said their research found prices ranging from more than 4c below the national average to more than 3c above.

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.

Mr Faughnan said: “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.

“Having a significant say on these kinds 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.”

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