Fuel costs set to soar

GOT a spare $2000 per year?

You'll need it if the Middle East crisis continues and you live about an hour's drive from work.

Figures released yesterday by the NRMA showed if petrol prices went from $1.35 per litre to $2 per litre – because of the predicted rise in crude oil prices – a person driving a Ford Falcon (4L), commuting from Grafton to Coffs Harbour and back every day, would see a $2044 increase in their annual fuel bill.

The BusinessWise study also looked at the costs of a Holden Commodore, Toyota Hilux and VW Transporter which, along with a Falcon, are the nation's top fleet cars and two of them are among the most popular family cars.

Based on the Falcon's consumption, even a rise to $1.50 per litre would see a $471 increase for the Coffs/Grafton commuter.

NRMA Motoring and Services director Wendy Machin said Australia was exposed to steep increases in prices due to our dependency on overseas fuel supplies.

“Since December 2008 we have seen the price of crude oil quadruple and unleaded petrol prices increase by almost 50c/litre – a strengthening dollar saving Australians from higher prices,” Mrs Machin said.

“Tensions in the Middle East are causing prices to increase despite the fact that production and supply has not been affected.”

The NRMA reiterated its calls for the Australian Government to develop a strategy to deal with Australia's dependence on imported oil.

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