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High-priced driving this holiday season

Media Release: 9 January 2008

PetrolWatch – December 2007

High-priced driving this holiday season

Fuel prices over the summer holiday period have been the highest ever recorded for this time of year, according to the AA.

“Traditionally prices are lower during summer thanks to reduced petrol demand in Europe and the United States, where it is the middle of winter and people drive less,” says AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.

“That’s traditionally been good for us downunder in New Zealand, resulting in lower petrol prices during our big summer holiday drive time. But unfortunately not these holidays - prices have continued to remain high thanks to strong international demand and high crude prices throughout December.”

According to AA PetrolWatch, motorists were paying $1.43 per litre for 91 octane and 99 cents for diesel in December 2006, compared to $1.71 and $1.25 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively in the main centres in December 2007.

“There was some reprieve for motorists in early December, when prices for all fuels dropped 3 cents per litre from previous near-record highs,” says Mr Noon.

In early January 2008 international crude prices topped USD $100 per barrel resulting in an almost immediate rise at the pump of 5 cents per litre.

“We were pleased to see that not all oil companies passed the increases on immediately, with Gull holding their prices to let holiday makers get home. 2008 has started off with a very tough period for motorists with record high fuel prices,” says Mr Noon.

Nevertheless, and with a little effort, motorists can make savings and reduce their fuel costs by:

-taking advantage of supermarket fuel discount vouchers – these can be up to 20 cents per litre;

- driving smoothly – don’t accelerate sharply or brake rapidly;

-don’t speed – travelling at 100km/h instead of 110km/h can cut 13% off your fuel bill;

-Plan you trips and combine your tasks to avoid unnecessary kilometres, and of course if the weather is good consider taking a walk or your bike for those short trips and leave the car at home.

For more tips on how to save fuel, go to www.aa.co.nz or www.fuelsaver.govt.nz.

ENDS


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