Why are petrol and diesel prices at their highest since 2015?

Average price of a litre of petrol rose by 4.9 cent and diesel by 5 cent within last month

Pice study puts the average price of a litre of petrol at 136.3c per litre while a litre of diesel costs an average of 126.9c. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Pice study puts the average price of a litre of petrol at 136.3c per litre while a litre of diesel costs an average of 126.9c. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Motorists are paying more for fuel today than at any point since the autumn of 2015 according to the latest AA Fuel Price Index.

It shows as the average price of a litre of petrol rose by 4.9 cent and diesel by 5 cent within the last month.

The price study puts the average price of a litre of petrol at 136.3 cent per litre while a litre of diesel costs an average of 126.9 cent.

The latest figures represent the latest in a series of fuel price increases for motorists, with the price of a litre of petrol now at its highest since September 2015. Meanwhile, the price of diesel has climbed to its highest level since August 2015, as prices of petrol and diesel rose for the fourth successive month.

“While motorists were perhaps bracing themselves for an increase in fuel costs early in 2017 as oil prices have steadily risen in recent months, the latest price rise represents the largest single month increase in prices since March 2015,” said Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at AA Ireland.

“While it’s impossible to know what the long-term future holds when it comes to fuel prices, currently all the factors which inform prices are trending into the wrong direction for motorists.”

Much of the price increase is down to the substantial price of Brent crude oil on international markets.

The latest escalation in petrol and diesel prices further highlight the need for fuel taxes introduced in response to the economic recession to be reviewed by Government.

“We have little no influence over the international events that affect fuel prices. But we do control Irish taxation and that is actually where the real damage is done,” he continued.

Mr Faughnan pointed out that 63 per cent of the price of petrol is tax while it is 58 per cent for diesel. “That’s excessive. It has been excessive since the emergency budget of October 2008 and despite the end of the crisis period the taxes remain. As motorists contemplate empty wallets at the end of the month we should remember that it is the Irish government much more than global oil prices that sees us paying so much.”