AA Ireland has launched a new discount fuel card – The AA Fuel Card – for its members which guarantees 2 cent off a litre of petrol or diesel at any of 320 Topaz service stations nationwide.
“It’s been a brutal start to 2012 in fuel price terms for motorists and we’re continuing to put pressure on the Government to reconsider their crippling fiscal policy," said Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy, AA Ireland. “And while we can only hope that our Government sees sense and eases their vice grip on motorist’s wallets, we’re glad to be able to offer our members some light relief through our new AA Fuel Card in partnership with Topaz.”
“Every day we get calls and emails from motorists who are really suffering and asking us what the AA is doing to help. The launch of the fuel card is a response to that need. It will save you money but we know that more needs to be done.”
The AA predicts a drop in the quality of living for many during 2012 as a direct result of fuel prices particularly for motorists who will clock up an above average annual mileage. “While an average motorist will do roughly 12,000 km/pa this does vary quite considerably between rural and urban areas,” says Faughnan. “There’s a vast difference between average mileages in Offaly and Dublin for example and this is really reflected in the desperate feedback we’re getting from motorists.”
An online poll of close to 20,000 motorists carried out by the AA earlier this month identifies Offaly, Carlow and Roscommon motorists respectively as having the highest percentage of motorists to clock up more than 24,000km/pa which is twice the national average. Half of the Offaly motorists polled for example indicated that their average mileage is in excess of 24,000km per annum. While 47% of Carlow motorists and 46% of Roscommon motorists polled indicated the same.
On the other hand, at 14.2% Dublin by far has the highest percentage of motorists who do less than 8,000 km/pa. After this, albeit quite a way behind, are drivers in Waterford (8%), Kerry (7%) and Cork (7%).
Record high fuel prices have become so grave for some that livelihoods are now at stake the AA reveals. Five per cent of the motorists polled indicated that they wouldl either definitely or possibly have to abandon their job this year as their daily commute has become too expensive. Another 8% said their fuel bill has become such a burden that they are currently or likely to be on the lookout for alternative employment closer to home in the near future.
Many are also being forced to rationalize spending in other basic areas such as their weekly food shop according to the AA. 11% polled said they’ll definitely be offsetting their higher fuel costs by spending less on groceries this year while a further 21% said it’s an option they are considering.
The AA’s Poll also goes on to reveal that two thirds of drivers in Ireland achieve between 30 and 45 mpg with the highest percentage overall attaining 35mpg. “We encourage drivers to look at ways to better their miles per gallon through the maintenance of their vehicles and their driving styles,” says Faughnan. “We also advise drivers to shop around while also taking into consideration that some brands of fuel do vary.”
AA Ireland has teamed up with Topaz to provide a unique fuel card as part of the AA Rewards programme. The card guarantees 2 cent off per litre at any of the 320 Topaz service stations in the Republic of Ireland, is easy to use and it means that drivers who possess it don’t have to worry about carrying cash and will save money every time they fill up their tank. The card is free to AA Members who simply have to swipe their card to purchase the fuel. Payment operates on a direct debit basis and as it is not a credit card it does not attract any government tax.