Fuel Price Differentials and Car Ownership: A Spatial Analysis of Diesel Cars in Northern Ireland

This paper investigates whether the availability of relatively cheap diesel fuel in the Republic of Ireland affected the rate of diesel car ownership in Northern Ireland. A geographic approach is used, which involves generating spatial variables measuring nearness to the Republic of Ireland at a high geographic resolution, and comparing these with the proportion of the local car stock that is fuelled by diesel. A series of spatial regression models are specified to determine if this association between nearness to the Republic and diesel ownership persists after accounting for the effect of socioeconomic, travel, and household characteristics. The results of the analysis show that network distance to the closest fuel station in the Republic of Ireland is negatively associated with diesel car ownership in Northern Ireland. This supports the hypothesis that the availability of cheaper fuel in the Republic of Ireland is not only generating fuel-tourism, but is also affecting the structure of the car fleet registered in Northern Ireland. The findings are relevant beyond the case study and imply that the structure of a country’s car fleet is not only dependent on domestic policies, but is also affected by the policies of neighbouring countries.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADC70 Standing Committee on Transportation Energy.
  • Authors:
    • Morton, Craig
    • Lovelace, Robin
    • Philips, Ian
    • Anable, Jillian
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2018


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01665982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 18-04238
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 12 2018 1:38PM