The rising cost of petrol will add an estimated €400 extra to families’ motoring costs this year with the cost per litre rising to near 160c in some places.

The rising cost of petrol will add an estimated €400 extra to families’ motoring costs this year.

The latest survey by the AA shows that the average cost per litre was 150.7c for unleaded while diesel was 146.3c but costs have gone up in recent weeks and are touching 160 a litre in some places.

Pumps.ie, which relies on drivers to send in the changing price of petrol , shows one of the most expensive filling stations is in Rathcormac in county Cork where the Emo garade is charging as much as 159.9c per litre.

In Dublin the most expensive station, on May 5, was Topaz on Enniskerry Road in Kiltiernan which was charging 157.9c per litre in early May.

The cheapest petrol appeared to be in Omeath, county Louth where Emo was charging 144.9c per litre.

“It’s another kick for motorists but it doesn’t just affect the private car user,” said AA’s Director of Policy, Conor Faughnan. “It is a rise in the basic cost of doing business for virtually every good and service within the Irish economy, and at these levels fuel prices are a serious impediment to economic recovery.”

Surveys show that recession-battered consumers are now changing their behaviour at the pumps – rather than filling up their tanks they are sticking to a set budget per week.

A report by car accessories shop Halford in Britain showed that seven out of ten consumers are making a conscious decision to use less fuel and seeking out the lowest priced filling station in their area.

Consumers are also reducing the number of venues they would travel to for days out because of the petrol costs which are being driven up by continuing turmoil in Libya and the middle-east.

Ways to decrease your petrol consumption

  • Keep your car properly serviced – this saves you money in the long run
     
  • Don’t use your boot to store heavy items. An extra 100 pounds increases fuel consumption by 1-2%.
     
  • Slow down. Drive at the optimum gears – lowering the gears appropriately to slow. Fuel economy decreases rapidly above 60 miles per hour
  • Avoid braking sharply – it consumes more fuel. Learn to anticipate traffic lights and use gears to slow your speed

  • Find your cars ‘sweet spot’ – the minimum speed at the highest gear
     
  • Accelerate smoothly - dont be a boy racer when coming out of the traffic lights, it consumes more energy
     
  • Plan your route before you set out to reduce the stops and starts if you are unsure of your destination
     
  • Don’t tailgate on the motorway – apart from being dangerous and the cause of stress for the driver in front, it will mean you consume more fuel as you will brake more frequently
     
  • Manual cars tend to get more mileage than automatic cars – consider that when looking for a new car
     
  • Keep your tyres at the correct pressure. Proper inflated tyres can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%.
     
  • Check the condition of your engine’s air filter. A dirty filter will increase fuel consumption
     
  • If you have air conditioning, try to avoid it in stop-start city traffic as it causes the engine to work harder and consume more fuel
     
  • Check the fuel consumption rating when looking for a new car
     
  • Get a ‘fuel service’ – a spring clean for engines that flushes out the dirty deposits that restrict the flow of fuel. It can improve consumption on cars that are more than three years old by as much as 25%, says Halfords.
     
  • Check pumps.ie to get the cheapest petrol in your area. It's updated by drivers and is fairly accurate