Why are fuel prices back in the news?


Despite the fact that across the water fuel prices are failing in Ireland they continue to rise writes Geraldine Herbert

Are fuel prices on the increase?
-According to the AA petrol prices have risen by 13% since the beginning of the year and diesel by 8%


But hasn’t the price of oil dropped?
-Global oil prices had recovered in the last few months but in the last few weeks they are dropping again and have now dipped back below $50 a barrel.
-Record production of oil from Saudi Arabia who opened two new oil refineries is likely to keep the price down.
-The fall of prices in the UK is largely driven by a price war between the big supermarkets.


So why is this decrease not reflected at the pumps?
-The weak position of the euro is keeping prices in Ireland higher than they should be as Petrol retailers here operate at such tight margins that they are very vulnerable to currency changes.
-Tax is also such a huge determinant in the price of fuel as it is levied on a per litre basis and not on the percentage of the price. Therefore as the cost falls the tax remains the same.


What can motorists do?
-Shopping around is one of the key factors. Pumps.ie recently discovered that prices can vary by as much as 16.9c per litre for Diesel and 11c for petrol. That may sound like a small amount but that would mean more than €10 in the difference of filling your car and considerably more over a couple of months


What can you do to your car to make it more efficient?
-Remove all non-essential items from your car, golf clubs, prams etc
-Check tyre pressures regularly, any imbalance in the tyre pressure or less tyre pressure can mean more fuel burnt.
-Buy fuel in units of litres, not Euros. It is easier to decide where the best value is.
-Service your car regularly.


And what about you’re driving?
-Change up into a higher gear as soon as it’s possible, correct use of gears can save you up to 15% of your fuel bill.
-Use air con sparingly but at speeds of over 80 km/h, use of air conditioning is better than an open window.
-Plan Ahead, anticipate stop signs and lights, the less you have to stop, the better your fuel economy.


Listen back to The Last Word with Matt Cooper Why Do We Have Some Of The Dearest Petrol In Europe? Geraldine Herbert (wheelsforwomen.ie) and Conor Faughnan (AA Ireland) discuss rising fuel costs in Ireland


Geraldine Herbert

10th August, 2015


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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