Motorists now spend €2,000 a year to fill up their cars

THE rise in petrol and diesel costs means that drivers are now spending €2,000 a year to fill up their cars.

This is because the average monthly spend by Irish drivers on petrol or diesel is now €180, according to a survey conducted by iReach for insurer Aviva.

A third of drivers now have to shell out 200 euros a month to keep moving.

Diesel prices have skyrocketed 46 percent in the year to March, according to the Central Statistics Office.

And gasoline prices are up 35 percent as the Ukraine war, the fallout from the Covid pandemic and supply restrictions by Opec members have pushed up prices.

The annual cost of running an average car has increased by €700 a year over the last two years, separate figures from AA Ireland show.

AA spokesman Paddy Comyn said prices had risen again, diesel was now back at just under €2 a liter.

“The signs are that prices are rising,” he said.

Earlier this year, the government cut the fuel excise tax to ease current price pressures. A cut of 20 cents per liter of petrol and 15 cents per liter of diesel came into effect in March and will apply until August.

The iReach study, commissioned by insurer Aviva, shows that rising fuel prices are forcing more than half of drivers to make at least one change in their car use.

One in ten states that they only use the car for necessary journeys.

According to the findings of the survey of 1,000 people, younger people are now more inclined to walk.

Different age groups spend more on petrol or diesel, with half of 25-34 year olds spending more than €200 a month on fuel.

This compares to 39 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds who spend as much.

However, a large number of motorists said they could not change their driving habits and therefore had “no choice” but to spend their current time on the road.

Around four in ten people in Connaught and Ulster say they cannot reduce their car use.

Aviva’s Billy Shannon said the rise in fuel prices means people are cutting back on their car use.

“Where the car used to be used for trips and trips at the weekend or for shorter journeys in the area, many today have to think about how they can save and, where possible, find alternative means of transport.”

He said rural residents and people with young children have been hit hardest by the sharp rise in fuel prices.

Households with one or more children greatly increased the cost of commuting to and from work, while there are also likely to be multiple trips per week to classes, camps, courses, training and social events.

Mr Shannon said: “€180 a month is not inconsiderable – and more than a third of people spend well above that. Just as rising fuel costs are taking a toll on people’s pockets, reducing this spending, if possible, could make a big difference in household budgets. Motorists now spend €2,000 a year to fill up their cars

Fry Electronics Team

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