Irish motorists driving diesel cars are now spending up to 20c/L more than those driving petrol cars, according to the latest fuel price survey from AA Ireland.

The average price for petrol across the country remains at €1.84/L, with diesel now at €2.02/L, 4% more expensive than last month.

Petrol is on average, 11% more expensive than in October 2021, with diesel almost 30% more expensive than in October 2021.

The survey does not include the price of agri-diesel (green diesel).

Average costs for petrol and diesel cars

It now costs the average motorist with a petrol car €2,210 to fill it, annually, at current fuel prices, €219 more than in October 2021.

It costs the average motorist with a diesel car €2,020 to fill it, annually at current fuel prices, €126 more than in October 2021.

The AA calculates a diesel car will travel, on average, around 800km on a tank versus 700km in petrol, which is why even though diesel is more expensive, the consumer is still likely to use less of it for the same average 17,000km/year.

“We have seen quite a spike in the price of diesel in the last month, even though petrol prices have remained largely stagnant over the same period,” AA Ireland head of communications, Paddy Comyn said.

“Sales of diesel cars were very much in the majority from 2008 until quite recently, so these high fuel prices will be affecting large amounts of motorists nationally, at a time when energy prices are rising across the board.”

It is thought that a surplus in petrol production and a deficit in diesel production is accounting for the differences in prices.

Tips for saving fuel

Accelerate gently – the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. Use your right foot lightly to move off and get up to speed, and you’ll make savings.

Easy on the brakes – sharp braking wastes energy; instead, ease off the accelerator and move down the gears in plenty of time so you can smoothly come to a stop.

Reduce speed – e.g., vehicle travelling at 120km/hr uses about 20% more fuel than the same vehicle at 100km/hr. That’s a substantial increase – imagine the savings over a long journey.

Maintain a steady speed – constant changes in speed use more fuel and are a waste of energy and money. Try to maintain a steady speed to avoid this – and consider using the cruise control function if your car has it.

Read the road ahead – a little anticipation goes a long way. By training yourself to look further ahead you can avoid sharp braking and even the need to use the brake altogether, e.g., by changing lanes in advance of a slow-moving vehicle, or gradually slowing down before a junction.

Lighten the load – make sure you are not carrying heavy items unnecessarily. The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel you will use. Overloading can also put strain on the car and our AA Roadside Rescue team said it is often called out to cars that have suffered damaged suspension, a burned-out clutch or tyre damage due to overloading.

Be a smart shifter – Don’t take too long to move into the higher gears; driving fast in a low gear makes the engine work harder and uses more fuel (you can tell by keeping an eye on the tachometer beside the speedometer, as it shows the engine’s rpm). Most modern cars have a dashboard indicator to tell you the most efficient time to change gear – use it.

Use air conditioning sparingly – using your car’s air conditioning system can increase its fuel consumption by as much as 20%. If you are in town or city traffic, open the windows instead. And if you do need to put on the air-con, use the ‘re-circulate’ option to save energy.

Streamline – remove roof racks, roof boxes and cycle racks when you are not using them, as they increase drag and mean you will burn more fuel to compensate.