The first adjustment of fuel prices for the new year starts off with comparatively large increases for petrol and diesel. After midnight today, both grades of petrol have pump prices that are 3 sen higher, making RON95 petrol RM2.29 a litre, while RON97 petrol will be RM2.56 a litre.

The increase for diesel is double the amount of increase for last week, something which fleet operators and those who drive pick-up trucks won’t be happy about. With a 6-sen increase, Euro2M diesel will cost RM2.32 a litre while the cleaner Euro5 grade will be an extra 10 sen or RM2.42 a litre.

Since subsidies for fuel were stopped at the end of 2014, the price of diesel (Euro2M) has never gone past RM2.30 and this is the highest ever. It’s ironic that diesel used to be much cheaper than petrol but now it costs more.

So the year starts off with fuel costing more, which is a worrying sign for motorists. The increases also seem to be bigger, bumping up prices significantly. Even the increases are not by the ringgit, even a few sen can mean additional expenditure in a month as you don’t just buy 1 litre of fuel but tens of litres. It all adds up so driving economically and stretching each litre as much as possible would help offset the increases a bit.

[Chips Yap]

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