There has been some good news for Irish motorists since the beginning of the year with the price of some fuels on forecourts falling to their lowest level since the summer of 2017.
According to the AA’s monthly fuel prices survey, the average cost of a litre of petrol today is 132.9c - the lowest level since August 2017 - while the average price of diesel is 127.9c per litre, the lowest price recorded since April of last year.
Among the main drivers for the change in pump prices has been a significant reduction in the cost of crude oil.
Having floated between $75 and $85 per barrel for much of 2018, crude oil has largely remained at a cost of between $55 and $65 since December of last year.
However, the AA claimed the tax placed on both petrol and diesel means motorists are still paying more than they should be for their fuel.
"2018 felt like a year of unrelenting surges when it came to pump prices, so it's certainly reassuring for motorists to see prices trending in the opposite direction to start the New Year," Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs said.
Act of kindness
“However, it’s important to remember that we are not seeing this drop as the result of an act of kindness from Government or an easing of taxes, but as a result of international factors which are always vulnerable to reversing in the opposite direction at any instance.”
Currently, almost 65 per cent of the cost of each litre of petrol sold in Ireland is made up of taxes, while just under 60 per cent of the price of diesel is made up of taxation.
“For many people in Ireland, particularly those living in rural areas, the car is their only means of reliable transport and as a result crucial to their ability to get to work and continue to contribute to the Irish economy,” Mr Faughnan said.
“The current levels of taxation only serve to punish these people for the failure of the current Government and their predecessors to improve public transport options across the country,” he added.
He said that if Government maintains the current level of taxation, “then that money needs to be used wisely and invested in providing people across Ireland with reliable public transport options so that they have legitimate alternatives as opposed to simply forcing them into a corner and punishing them when they try to escape by their sole reliable transport option”
Mr Faughnan said that as with any purchase, the most important thing for those who are trying to cut costs at this time of year is to shop around when buying petrol or diesel. “Simply put, it’s always better to be loyal to your own pocket instead of being loyal to any particular garage.”