According to a recent survey conducted by AA Ireland, petrol and diesel prices have hit their lowest levels since September 2021. During April, the average price of diesel dropped 2.6% to €1.47 per litre, compared to March, with the price of petrol dropping 1.2% to €1.57 per litre during the same period. The survey also revealed that the prices continued to fall so far during May. However, the relief is short-lived as excise duties are due to be reintroduced beginning on June 1, which will add 5c to a litre of diesel and 6c to a litre of petrol.
Head of communications with AA Ireland, Paddy Comyn, said that if fuel prices remain the same, these increases will see petrol costs increase by 3.8% and diesel by 3.4% on June 1. He added that the reintroduction of excise duty will come as another unwelcome increase for motorists after enjoying a period of reasonably stable fuel prices. Another increase in excise duty is pencilled in for September 1, which will see another 5c added to a litre of diesel and 7c added to a litre of petrol. The Government is then set to fully restore the rates on October 31, with a final increase of 6c for diesel and 8c for petrol.
AA Ireland also pointed out that electric vehicle owners are paying almost identical amounts this month as electricity prices remain high. The average EV driver is paying €1,131.04 to charge their car over the course of the year based on April prices, which is just slightly down from €1,138.13 in March. However, those taking advantage of smart meters and cheap night rates pay as little as €421.43 to cover the same 17,000km distance. Those charging exclusively on public chargers could pay up to €2,150.27 annually.
The fluctuation in petrol and diesel prices is not new in Ireland. The prices are influenced by various factors such as global supply and demand, currency exchange rates, and geopolitical tensions. The Covid-19 pandemic also played a significant role in the price drop as the demand for fuel decreased due to lockdowns and travel restrictions.
However, the recent announcement of the reintroduction of excise duties is likely to increase the prices again. The excise duty is a tax on fuel imposed by the government, which is used to fund various public services. In recent years, the government has been increasing the excise duty rates to discourage the use of fossil fuels and promote the use of electric vehicles.
The reintroduction of excise duties is expected to have a significant impact on motorists, particularly those who rely on their vehicles for work or travel. The increase in fuel prices could also lead to an increase in the cost of goods and services, as transportation costs are likely to go up. This could have a knock-on effect on the overall economy, which is already struggling due to the pandemic.
In conclusion, while the recent drop in petrol and diesel prices is good news for motorists, it is short-lived. The reintroduction of excise duties is likely to increase the prices again, which will have a significant impact on the economy and motorists. It is essential for the government to strike a balance between promoting the use of electric vehicles and ensuring that motorists are not burdened with high fuel prices.