Petrol prices across Ireland have been plummeting as quickly as the temperature in recent weeks.
As oil hit a six-year low worldwide yesterday, Applegreen Service Station in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, emerged as the cheapest place to buy fuel.
Overall motorists have reported paying as little as €1.22.8 per litre of petrol and €1.17.8 per litre of diesel.
However we could be paying less than €1 per litre if our taxes weren’t so high, according to AA Ireland’s Conor Faughnan.
“It’s great that oil prices are at a six year low, it’s a pity that Irish fuel taxes are at all time high,” he said.
“That is why we are not getting the full benefit. At the moment about 60pc of what you pay for a litre of petrol is taxed.
“We should be buying petrol for less than a euro a litre, but we won’t because of the extra austerity era taxes that have been applied since the crisis began and haven’t been lifted.”
The forecourt cuts come as Brent crude oil trading dipped to as low as $45 US a barrel yesterday, the lowest level since April 2009.
Motorists across Ireland are also seeing prices fall, with the average price at €129.9 for petrol and diesel at €121.9 for diesel, according to petrol price tracker pumps.ie.
However drivers nationwide reporting the prices at their local pumps to independent.ie, with some paying as little as €1.21.9 per litre of petrol in Top in Belturbet in Co Cavan and €1.17.8 per litre of diesel in several garages in Co Donegal and Cork.
Readers around the country also reported low prices with diesel €1.16.9 and petrol €1.27.9 at Sligo Fuels in Sligo town. Another bought petrol for €120.8 in Esso on the Waterford side of Dungarvan.
Elsewhere Claire Collins, from Sixmilebridge in Co Clare, sent in a photo her brother Jim Walsh sent her from Toronto in Canada – where she claims the price of fuel in his local service station is the equivalent of 25 cent (euro).
“We truly are being mugged,” she added.
In Dublin, diesel was reported to be around the €1.17 and €1.18 mark, while petrol was under €1.25 at a number of locations.
According to consumers who contacted Pumps.ie today:
Cheapest petrol in the country: €122.8 Applegreen Service Station, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick.
Cheapest petrol in the capital: €1.23.9 Emo, James Street, Kilmainham.
Cheapest diesel in the country: €116.8 Applegreen Service Station, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick.
Cheapest diesel in the capital: €1.17.8 Texaco in Rathfarnham and in KCR-Kimmage Cross Roads, Terenure.
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Compare these to January 2013, when the average price at the pump was €157.9 for petrol and €150.8 for diesel, according to AA Ireland. They peaked two months later and by January 2014 prices were down to €152.9 for petrol and €147.6 for diesel.
Mr Faughnan estimates that a 10 cent drop in the litre can save the average motorist (who uses 150 litres a month) about €18 a month.
"There are still plenty of garages out there that are expensive, and there are plenty of garages out there that are good value," he said.
"There is no doubt that the motorist who is not a discerning consumer can do themselves out of money by just not shopping around."
While they rose again over the summer, prices started to fall again as the winter drew.
In the UK the big four supermarkets announced they all cutting the price of their fuel again, with Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco all knocking a further 2p off their petrol and diesel, and prices are expected to dip below the £1 mark.
Mr Faughnan said while motorists paid less than a euro in early 2009, motorists have been five tax hikes – including excise duty, carbon tax, the ‘NORA’ levy (National Oil Reserves Agency) levy and VAT – on fuels which beefed up retail prices.
He said the drop in oil prices globally is good news, but only highlights the ongoing problem of how high our taxes are.
“We’re not getting like the value that we would otherwise get if it were not for these taxes on fuels,” he added.
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