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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Petrol price drops for first time in eight months

Aideen Sheehan

PETROL prices have fallen for the first time in eight months, but it's still costing motorists nearly €228 a month to fill up.

Petrol fell by 2 cent a litre to an average of €1.513 in June, while diesel fell by 3.2 cent to an average of €1.428 nationwide, the latest survey from the Automobile Association (AA) shows.

Ireland is middle of the table for petrol prices throughout Europe, with Spain and most eastern European countries cheaper. But prices in Germany, France and Italy and many other western countries are higher than here.

AA Director of Policy Conor Faughnan said world oil prices and a volatile exchange rate for the euro meant we were not out of the woods yet.

"It is a question of being thankful for small mercies. For the first time in eight months petrol prices did not get any worse.

"The small drop is helpful but we are still dealing with record-high prices overall," he said.

A typical motorist doing 12,000 miles a year at 30 miles per gallon would spend €227.55 each month.

The price of fuel is now nearly 20c a litre dearer than this time last year, when the monthly fuel bill would have been less than €200.

While the fall in diesel prices has been sharper, the AA urged drivers to be cautious if they saw prices that were too good to be true.

There has undoubtedly been a problem with dodgy diesel, as earlier this month gardai and customs raided a fuel-laundering plant producing 20 million litres of diesel a year in Co Monaghan -- enough to supply 10 busy fuel stations.

"Drivers with laundered diesel in their tanks are guilty of a serious offence. Quite apart from the legal consequences, a fine of €5,000 is possible and you may damage your engine, culminating in a costly repair," said Mr Faughnan.

Irish Independent

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