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Petrol prices hit 16-month low, survey finds

A monthly survey of fuel prices by the AA has found that the average cost of a litre of petrol has hit its lowest level since August 2017.

The average cost per litre of diesel has hit the lowest price recorded by the AA since April of last year.

The latest findings show that, on average, petrol costs 132.9c per litre, while diesel comes in at 127.9c per litre.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said it would be reassuring for consumers to see a drop in prices after what felt like "a year of unrelenting surges when it came to pump prices" in 2018.

“However, it’s important to remember that we are not seeing this drop as the result of an act of kindness from government or an easing of taxes, but as a result of international factors which are always vulnerable to reversing in the opposite direction at any instance," he said.

The AA says the main reason for the decrease in prices can be attributed to the reduction in the cost of crude oil.

However, it said that the tax placed on both petrol and diesel means motorists are still paying more than they should be for their fuel.

“For many people in Ireland, particularly those living in rural areas, the car is their only means of reliable transport and as a result crucial to their ability to get to work and continue to contribute to the Irish economy.

The current levels of taxation only serve to punish these people for the failure of the current governments and their predecessors to improve public transport options across the country.

“At the very least, if government persists on maintaining such a high level of taxation, then that money needs to be used wisely and invested in providing people across Ireland with reliable public transport options so that they have legitimate alternatives as opposed to simply forcing them into a corner and punishing them when they try to escape by their sole reliable transport option," he said.