Fuel price hikes adding €600 to the cost of running a car each year
The figures from AA Ireland show fuel prices have increased by more than a third in the past two years.
Petrol prices at the pumps are now close to the psychologically important €2 a litre mark.
In the past two weeks alone prices have jumped around 2c a litre, with the relentless cost increases putting huge pressure on household budgets as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.
The revelation about the hike in petrol and diesel prices comes as wholesale oil costs dropped slightly from a seven-year high to around $94 (€83) a barrel yesterday.
However tensions and uncertainty over the situation involving Russia and Ukraine could mean further volatility.
Prices at the pumps are now at their highest since AA Ireland started recording them in 1991.
AA Ireland has calculated it will now cost a driver of a petrol car €595 more over a year to buy compared with last year.
For those with diesel cars there will be an extra €460 annual cost since costs started surging two years ago.
AA Ireland says petrol prices are now at €1.77 a litre and diesel is €1.68 on average.
Premium fuel prices are now around €1.86 a litre.
All this means the annual cost of filling a petrol car, for the average motorist, is now €2,149.
Diesel drivers now have to shell out €1,660 over a year.
The figures are based on a vehicle with a 50-litre tank, with mileage put at 17,000km.
The annual cost is likely to be even higher for some drivers who do more mileage than the figures chosen by the AA, or have a large car.
AA Ireland’s Paddy Comyn said we are getting close to petrol costing €2 a litre.
“What is particularly worrying as we stumble towards €2 per litre for petrol is how this might be affecting lower-income families, especially in rural areas where public transport is imperfect,” he said.
He said reductions in the price of public transport is welcome, but it is little assistance to those people who have no choice but to use their cars to drive children to school, get to work or care for loved ones.
“Even a temporary measure to assist these people could relieve them of a lot of pressure, and with north of 60pc of the pump price being tax, the Government really needs to relieve this pressure,” he said.
Motorists had been hoping the Government’s inflation-easing package announced last week would have cut some of the Exchequer duties on fuel.
Almost 60pc of the cost of litre of motor fuel goes to the State in Vat, carbon tax, excise duty and a levy to fund the holding of strategic oil reserves.
This means the State takes around €900 a year in taxes from a typical driver.
According to the AA, around 96c of every litre of petrol and 85c for every litre of diesel goes on taxes.
Ireland is the 17th most expensive country in the world for fuel, and we rank 12th in Europe.
The most expensive countries include Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Israel and Norway.
Fuels for Ireland, which represents motor fuel retailers, called on the Energy Minister Eamon Ryan to follow through on his promise last November to reduce by 1c per litre the National Oil Reserves Agency’s levy and implement a 1c reduction in excise duty.
Kevin McPartlan of Fuels for Ireland said the failure to carry through on these promised cuts was costing motorists €7m a month.