Locally, gas prices have risen by more than 100% over the last ten years, with the prices motorists pay for fuel being dependent on global oil costs. The main factors that affect oil prices in the international market are geopolitical unrest, economic instability, tax regulations, supply and demand.
To help alleviate price concerns, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has introduced strategies to support consumers.
The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS) has set aside $600 million for taxi drivers burdened by rising fuel prices. Taxi operators, both route and contract drivers, will receive vouchers valued at $25,000. This programme will be administered by the Transport Authority under the guidance of the Ministry of Transport and Mining.
To access the grant, drivers are required to apply online at www.WeCare.gov.jm.
Launched in December 2019, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) mobile app shows drivers where gas stations are located, their distance from these gas stations and the prices. It allows consumers to make a real-time comparison of gas prices facilitating informed decisions on where to buy fuel.
Energy-Efficient Tax Exemption
Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles, are now exempted from the General Consumption Tax (GCT). This is in light of the Government’s goal to have 10 percent of transportation powered by electric vehicles by 2030. As such, Cabinet has approved the strategic framework for electric mobility, which will guide the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) which use less gas.
In addition to ongoing Government support, motor vehicle users may adopt the following measures:
- Carpool – Using a vehicle less will directly reduce fuel costs. Where possible, seek out trusted friends and family members who are going in the same direction. Additionally, make use of public transportation or chartered taxis where possible on some days
- Vehicle Maintenance – Regular maintenance leads to better gas mileage over time, because vehicles will be running optimally.
- Avoid traffic-prone areas – Being stuck in traffic affects fuel levels because constant braking and slow acceleration can use more gas than usual. Motorists should try taking a less populated route or leaving home at times when the traffic is expected to be lighter. This also helps the engine in the long run.
For additional information, contact:
Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica
75-96 Marcus Garvey Drive
Gas Price Database: https://www.petrojam.com/price/
Consumer Affairs Commission
34 Trafalgar Road
Toll Free: 1-888-991-4470
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram, Twitter & Facebook: @mofjamaica