How is Petrol and Diesel taxed in Ireland?

By Paddy Comyn | May 2024


The price of petrol and diesel is a common complaint in Ireland across Europe, and this came into sharp focus a couple of years ago.  

A combination of factors, including the outbreak of war in Ukraine, led to petrol and diesel prices passing €2 per litre here in Ireland and peaking in June 2022, when they reached €2.17 per litre (  

This high price resulted in a public outcry and subsequent legislation to reduce duty, which was almost entirely restored when this was written (May 2024). So, how does the litre of fuel, be it petrol or diesel, breakdown in terms of taxes and charges in Ireland? Let’s take a closer look.  

About 55% of the price of a litre of Unleaded Petrol is taxed, and about 50% (50.5%) of a litre of Diesel is taxed. Here is how they are broken down. In Ireland, the tax on petrol and diesel has a fixed and variable component, which can alter the prices we see at the pumps. Mineral Oil Tax is a fixed component and is made up of Carbon Tax and Excise or Duty.  

Excise Duty: a tax applied to selling specific goods within the country, including alcohol, tobacco and fuel. Charged for the manufacture and import of these goods, they are a significant source of revenue for the government. Excise Duty is 47 cents per litre for unleaded and 37 cents per litre for diesel (April 2024).  

Carbon Tax: a tax on fossil fuels based on their carbon content. The tax charged per tonne of carbon dioxide will continue to rise. Currently, it is 13 cents per litre for unleaded and 15 cents per litre for diesel.  

VAT is a tax on the sale of goods and services, including fuel, and currently makes up about 19% of the total price of a litre.  

NORA Levy: The National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy in Ireland is a charge applied to oil products to fund the maintenance of Ireland’s strategic oil reserves. Basically, it tries to hold at least 90 days of fuel in case something goes wrong. It doesn’t account for much of the cost of a litre, just under 2 cents currently.  

So, taking an example from April 2024, petrol and diesel were around €1.74 per litre. The price of a litre of gasoline before tax was €0.78. Excise Duty and Carbon Tax added another €0.61, and VAT added €0.32. This, along with the small Better Energy Charge and NORA levy (€0.02), increases the price by 55% to €1.74.  

With diesel, although the price before tax is more expensive, at €0.86, there is less Excise Duty (€0.37) but more Carbon Tax (€0.15), totalling €0.52) and the Better Energy Charge and NORA levy (€0.02) and VAT (€0.32) bring the litre of diesel to €1.74. (source  

And how do we compare to our EU neighbours? At the time of writing, Ireland is the 10th most expensive country in Europe for petrol. Denmark is #1 (€2.08), ahead of the Netherlands (€2.05) and Greece (€1.94). Malta is the cheapest at €1.34 per litre at the other end of the scale. 


The information is correct as of the date of publication. This blog will not be updated or edited, so the information may become outdated.