Petrol and diesel prices hit record highs, AA data shows

Petrol prices have risen 27% in a year and diesel 28%, hitting low-income families hardest

Average fuel prices for petrol and diesel are at a record high, according to data collected by the AA. The average price for unleaded petrol is 172.6 cent per litre, while diesel is now 163.3 cent per litre, the highest since the AA started recording filling prices in 1991.

Petrol prices are up 27 per cent on this time last year, while diesel prices have increased by 28 per cent.

"We are now seeing record high fuel prices in this country. It is very worrying for everyone, but especially lower-income families in rural areas who are unsure whether they will be able to afford fuel for their cars, or even heat their homes," said Paddy Comyn, AA Ireland head of communications.

He said a combination of factors has led to the increase in fuel prices globally. Oil production plummeted during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide and has still not entirely recovered and recently reached $85 per barrel.


However, it has since settled under $80, but in Ireland, around two-thirds of the price motorists pay at the pump is tax and it can take two weeks for any reductions to reach the pumps.

Lower income families

“The cost of motoring in Ireland is ever-increasing and while there is a move to shift motorists into electric vehicles, it does appear to be at the expense of lower income families and motorists,” said Mr Comyn.

“It’s very expensive when you have a family trying to budget and pay their mortgage, groceries and general expenses. People in rural Ireland rely on their cars. They don’t have the public transport infrastructure to support their daily lives.

“It is also very frustrating for students who are trying to juggle fees, rent and now fuel for their vehicles, while often working part-time jobs. Prices are only going to continue to rise until something is done. Changes need to be made, particularly in the area of taxation.”

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times