By Stephen McKinley
Northern Irish motorists are being squeezed at the gas station, according to a new survey.
Fleet and fuel management company ARVAL PHH found that Northern Irish petrol stations charge more than anywhere else in the UK.
Belfast was the most expensive, the survey found, with a liter of unleaded costing 79.91 pence (c. $1.13). In Essex, a major commuter zone for London and the south-east of England, a liter costs only 77.59 pence (c. $1.10).
Meanwhile, acordd the border in the Republic, a liter costs a mere 55 Irish pence (c. $0.61), so that customers living in border areas automatically head south to fill up.
Speaking for the Northern Ireland Petrol Retailers’ Association Thomas Palmer said that transportation costs were one reason why fuel was so expensive in Northern Ireland. But he said the real problem for retailers was the duty charged on fuel in the North versus the South.
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"It is down to the high excise duty that successive governments have burdened motorists and retailers with," he said.
He added that the recent signing of the Kyoto Protocol on fuel emissions could add duty to fuel in the Irish Republic, cancelling out the competitive price edge of retailers there.
For anyone planning to visit Ireland and concerned about the cost of a tank of gas, visit www.irishfuelprices.com for latest prices in every county.