Fuel Costs Rising For Average Motorists, AA Finds

The majority of motorists find themselves spending up to €125 on petrol or diesel per month, recent research has found.

In response to an AA Car Insurance survey of over 5,000 motorists, 58.26% of respondents stated that their typical monthly fuel spend was up to €125. Of this 58%, 18.12% typically spent between €50 and €75 per month on fuel, with 16.81% spending between €75 and €100 on petrol or diesel in an average month.

The survey also found that almost 1 in 10 motorists face monthly fuel costs of up to €250. 8.76% of respondents stated that they would typically spend between €200 and €250 on fuel in a typical month.

“Fuel costs, along with insurance prices, is one of the biggest issues faced by motorists in recent years and unfortunately neither of these issues were addressed in the recent budget,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “Whenever we see fuel prices rise the person who takes the brunt of the blame tends to me the shop-owner, but in reality over 60% of what motorists pay at the pump is made up of government taxes including so called ‘emergency taxes’ introduced during the recession. Instead of making the long overdue decision to at least partially remove these emergency era taxes government retained the status-quo and, as a result, little has been done to help ease the cost of commuting to work for those who rely on a car.”

According to the AA’s monthly fuel prices update a litre of petrol currently costs 134.9c, while diesel costs on average 123.4c per litre.

The AA Car Insurance survey also found that almost half of motorists surveyed drive less than 500km in an average month.

25.32% of respondents stated that they drive between 250 and 500km per month, with a further 19.65% stating that they regularly drive less than 250km in a month. At the other end of the scale over 1 in 12 motorists stated that their monthly driving would typically exceed 2000km.

“When you look at the driving habits of Irish motorists, and particularly the sizeable cohort with a relatively low monthly mileage, it highlights that the number of motorists in Ireland who could be using an electric car is much higher than people may think,” Faughnan added. “With proper investment in charging points across the country and financial support for those who want to go electric those with a monthly mileage of less than 500km could definitely be encouraged to abandon their petrol or diesel powered car in favour of a fully electric vehicle or at the very least a hybrid.”

Unfortunately, in the latest budget very little was done to increase people’s interest in changing to an electric vehicle. The temporary freeze on Benefit-in-Kind tax will do a little to move the dial so to speak, but this isn’t a substitute for greater investment in electric vehicle technology which would actually go a long way to making motorists feel more comfortable with going electric.”

Earlier this year an AA survey found that while 30% of motorists were considering opting for an electric vehicle when they next change their car, 54.28% of those who stated they were unlikely to purchase an electric vehicle identified a lack of charging facilities as their main concern.

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