Fuel prices a ‘psychological blow’ for motorists: AA

High petrol and diesel prices have significantly reduced the number of journeys being taken by motorists – with the overwhelming majority now striving to improve their miles per gallon – according to a new AA report.

By Mark Rainey
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 12:01 am

The motoring organisation found that although Northern Ireland has the cheapest fuel in the UK, prices for petrol and diesel are up more than 28% and 36% respectively from mid-April last year.

An AA spokesman said the high prices at the pump are a “major financial and psychological blow” for UK motorists who are particularly conscious of the price increases when they fill their tanks at a cost of up to £90 each time.

Between Good Friday and Easter Monday car travel was down by 16% in some areas, while the latest survey also reveals that one-in-seven motorists’ decision to holiday aboard this year has been influenced in part by the high cost of using their car at home.

Fuel prices

Year-on-year, petrol is up 35.66p a litre (28.2%), having averaged 126.58p in mid-April 2021.

A litre of diesel now costs on average 46.74p (36.2%) more, having averaged 129.20p in mid-April 2021.

The AA found that the average price of petrol in Northern Ireland was 160p a litre, compared to the UK average of 162.2p, and Northern Ireland diesel prices averaging 171.8p compared to 175.9p across the UK.

Shopping around is also proving less fruitful as the major supermarkets have become less competitive than they were in March.

The 5.8p a litre difference between the major oil company-supplied retailer has been cut to 3.5p.

Luke Bosdet of the AA said: “Drivers are reminded just how bad the cost petrol and diesel is every time they pass a fuel station. Even with the relief the Treasury was able to provide, nearly £90 to fill a car tank is a major financial and psychological blow.

“A survey of 13,935 AA members last week revealed that 23% are staying at home this summer.”

The fuel price expert said the persistently high prices have created a “dismal start to the summer for motorists,” and added: “The only saving grace is the variety of pump prices that can be found and drivers that keep their eyes open can lop perhaps as much as 4p a litre/£2 a tank off their refuelling costs.”