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market chaos Russian invasion knock-on effects could see annual cost of filling a car could rise to €2,400

Cost to fill tank expected to reach €100 as petrol prices nears €2 a litre

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The cost of filling up an average car will rise to €2,400 a year if petrol prices at the pump rise to €2 a litre.

Two years ago it would have cost around €1,500 a year to fill the same car, meaning a potential increase of €900 in annual costs since 2020.

Fuel prices are rising fast in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with expectations that average prices for petrol could soon reach €2 per litre in forecourts across the country.

One filling station in Dublin hit that price barrier for its premium petrol product earlier this week, before reducing it again.

Fuel prices have been climbing in recent months thanks to post-Covid inflation which the Government had predicted would level off later in the year.

But the invasion of Ukraine has thrown global markets into turmoil and seen energy prices spike.

“Currently it’s about €770 more expensive to fill the average car per year compared to 2020,” AA Ireland spokesman Paddy Comyn said.

He advised people to shop around for fuel, and said prices were changing with greater frequency and sometimes by a few cent at a time.

“The average car has a 50-litre fuel tank and if petrol reaches €2 a litre it will cost €100 to fill that tank,” he said.

“This will add a lot to the cost of motoring. For instance, with an average of 17,000km per year for a car the annual petrol bill in 2020 would have been around €1,500 a year.

“If petrol is €1.80 per litre, which is now being surpassed, that cost rises to €2,185 per year.

“And if petrol goes to €2 per litre you’ll be looking at a cost of around €2,400 to fuel that car for a year.

“We would predict that if a barrel of Brent crude oil reaches $120 then petrol prices will hit the €2 a litre mark.”

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Yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil the Government is to consider reducing excise duty on fuel to compensate for the rising cost of petrol and diesel.

Mr Varadkar said the Government, having taken steps towards household relief on home energy bills, was now looking at other ways to reduce the impact of events that were outside the Government’s control.

“We are more concerned about energy prices. Everyone driving by the forecourt this morning will have seen the price of petrol and the price of diesel,” he said.

“We’ve already seen increases in our gas bills, our electricity bills, and unfortunately because of the events in Ukraine, we’re likely to see further raises over the next couple of weeks.”

A spot check by the Irish Independent on fuel prices at the pumps has shown prices are climbing higher than last month’s average of 177.3c for a litre of petrol, and 167.6 for a litre of diesel which was recorded by the AA.

At Circle K in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, premium petrol was 198.8c per litre yesterday, while standard petrol stood at 190.8c.

At the same station premium diesel was 194.8c and standard diesel was 186.8c.

However, it still pays to shop around and price differences could be found between filling stations relatively close to each other.

For example, on the N7 at Tootenhill, just up the road from the Circle K in Rathcoole, the Applegreen station had petrol at 186.8c and diesel at 177.8c.

The Maxol filling station in Mulhuddart, west Dublin, that had been selling its premium petrol for more than €2 a litre earlier this week, later brought the price down to 196.9c a litre.

Mr Varadkar said he was confident that Ireland had energy security as things stood and would not suffer shortages.

He said the giant Moneypoint power plant on the Shannon estuary had been burning some Russian coal, but had now switched to Colombian coal.

Mr Varadkar added that Ireland was not dependent on Russia or Ukraine for gas.

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