Motorists urged to keep an eye on ‘rogue traders’

ROAD fuel prices – and their swinging variations from petrol station to petrol station – have long been a bone of contention with local drivers.
However, the recent sharp drop in the price of crude oi has come as some relief to people here – even if, predictably, most of the distributors have been sow to pass on the savings.
There’s still seems to be a sizeable proportion of Fermanagh motorists who routinely buy their fuel in the South and obviously if you’re close to the border this may be well worth the effort. However, as in the North, fuel prices vary considerably from outlet to outlet.
While the average price of diesel in the South last month was 133 cent per litre – and that figure sould continue to go down – it’s worth also considering that sterling has rallied against the euro with the exchange rate around 85 p to the euro at time of going to press. Put simply, that means you get less fuel for your pound sterling than, say, a year ago.
In the South, the latest AA Fuel Prices Survey had welcome news for motorists as the pump price of both petrol and diesel has fallen.
According to the AA’s latest monthly survey of fuel prices, a litre of petrol now costs 141.9c on average – a decrease of 2.6c on last month’s average price of 144.5c. However, the price still remains slightly above the cost of 141.7c recorded in late December 2019.
Meanwhile, there was also good news for diesel drivers as the cost of a litre of diesel fell by 2.5c in the past month to a current level of 133.4c – the same level at which the average cost of a litre of diesel ended last year.
But the AA has acknowledged that not all petrol retailers play fair when it comes to passing on savings to the motorist
You may well have a small number of retailers who try to take advantage of the consumer, but broadly speaking crude oil prices and pump prices have always followed the same trend,” said  onor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs.
While the drop in prices at the pump is welcome news, the AA is reminding motorists of the importance of being loyal to their own pocket when it comes to their motoring costs in order to ensure they are getting the best value. As crude oil prices have started to slowly recover in recent days, motorists are encouraged to be as active in comparing the prices of service stations in their area as they are in comparing insurance premiums when their renewal notice arrives.
“Many of us form a habit of going to the same service station every time we need to fill our tank and never take a second to check that station is providing a competitive price on fuel. During the course of your day-to-day driving, it can benefit you to get into the habit of comparing fuel prices and making sure you give your business to whatever service station is offering the best value,” Faughnan added. 
“We have started to see crude oil prices slowly recover recently and we cannot count on them to stay as low as they currently are forever. Over the course of a year of driving, devoting just a few minutes to comparing fuel prices in your region every week could help you significantly reduce your annual spend.”

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