Price of diesel and petrol falls but tax cut urged
THE price of filling a car with petrol or diesel has fallen slightly in the past month, with petrol now costing an average of €1.57 a litre and diesel €1.48.
The AA's monthly fuel price survey shows prices are down 0.7 cent per litre, but that taxes make up more than half the overall cost.
AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said a series of tax hikes in the past five years had pushed prices up, adding more than 20 cent per litre.
He said motorists would continue to struggle with high prices for the foreseeable future.
"We are much happier reporting price drops than price rises," he said. "Even so, this is only a modest fall, reflecting a bit more stability in European wholesale prices.
"Motorists are still struggling with high fuel prices, and just because prices are down a little does not make the issue any less urgent."
Petrol cost €1.62 in April and was as high as €1.70 last September, but prices have fallen gradually since.
"We are not expecting too much movement in the coming weeks," said Mr Faughnan. "The big problem we still face is high taxation."
The motoring group said that a car travelling 19,200km a year, consuming fuel at a rate of 9.42 litres per 100km, would use 150 litres a month.
"At current prices, that motorist will pay €236.10 a month for petrol, of which €134.58 is tax," said Mr Faughnan. "The figure for May was €237.15, meaning the latest drop saves motorists €1.05.
"If fuel taxes were at 2008 levels, the price of petrol would be €1.34 a litre and diesel €1.25. We are now paying about 58pc of the pump price for petrol in taxes, and 51pc of the diesel price."
The AA called on the Government to reduce the tax on fuels.