Business Irish

Friday 19 September 2014

Ireland is world's fourth most expensive for petrol

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

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FILL HER UP: Irish drivers are taxed to the hilt on fuel
FILL HER UP: Irish drivers are taxed to the hilt on fuel

Ireland is the fourth most expensive country in the world to fill up the petrol tank – and this is making it harder for our economy to get back on its feet and compete with others, according to a new report.

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The report, by Louth accountants, UHY Farrelly Dawe White, also found that Irish diesel prices are the fifth highest in the world.

The study examined the cost of filling up the tank of a Ford Transit.

The most expensive place to fill up a tank with petrol is Denmark – but Ireland isn't too far behind.

It costs about €139 to fill the tank of a Ford Transit with petrol in Denmark; in Ireland, it costs about €128. The cheapest place to buy petrol is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed by Malaysia, Mexico and the US. It costs €27 to fill up a tank with petrol in the UAE, €37 in Malaysia, €52 in Mexico and €55 in the US.

Irish drivers of diesel cars should avoid filling up across the Border – the UK has the most expensive diesel in the world. Israel has the second most expensive diesel, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.

"It is Irish taxes alone which see our fuel prices this high," said Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs at the AA.

Taxes account for almost 60 per cent of the cost of filling up the tank of a Ford Transit with petrol in Ireland, compared to about 13 per cent in the US. There are no fuel taxes in China or Malaysia.

"When we try to compete against the likes of the US and China, we are blown away," said Alan Farrelly, managing director of UHY Farrelly Dawe White. "The price of diesel and petrol in the US is about half what it is here. This is discouraging companies from setting up in Ireland – because fuel prices push up the cost of running a business here. The Department of Finance needs to seriously consider the implications of these excessive levels of tax at a time when the economy is trying to recover from a severe recession. It is looking in the wrong pockets when it tries to balance its books."

A typical Irish driver pays about €2,754 a year in fuel and €1,652 of this is tax.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance said fuel prices are driven by several factors "including the price of oil on international markets, exchange rates, production costs and refining costs".

"Fluctuation in oil prices over recent years reflected additional factors such as geopolitical uncertainty in Northern Africa and the Middle East with potential supply disruptions," insisted the spokeswoman.

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