Families forced to give up their cars as fuel bills soar
THE traditional family car has now become a luxury item rather than a necessity, with "super taxes" inflating average annual fuel bills by as much as €286.
Backing up a recent major survey by the Irish Independent, the AA yesterday said the massive surge in prices was forcing some to jettison their vehicles altogether.
Petrol costs, on average, €1.57 per litre, up 2.1c on last month, while diesel now averages at €154.4 per litre, up 1.3c.
That means that an average monthly bill for petrol users stands at around €235.50, according to the latest AA research -- an increase of €18.75 on last year.
For diesel, a monthly bill averages about €231.60, which represents a jump of €23.85.
The AA has criticised the Government for aping the policy of its predecessors with regard to excessive tax hikes.
While some people are simply shouldering the burden of soaring prices, others are doing away with their cars.
The AA has stressed that the issue of rising prices is not down to individual garage owners but rather a policy of taxation that began in 2008.
It said the Government added 4c per litre through hikes in the Budget.
On top of this, it said, the weakening of the euro against the dollar pushed up the cost of importing oil into Europe.
At the same time, European wholesale prices have been "irrationally high" across the continent.