Cost of running a car jumps 20% in one year

Drivers are paying at least 20 per cent more to run their cars than they were a year ago, a survey reveals. Rises in insurance premiums and petrol prices account for the bulk of the increase. The average running cost is now £3,090 – 21.1 per cent more than the cost on April 1, 2010. This includes a 30.7 per cent average increase in insurance and a 5.4 per cent rise in servicing costs. Fuel costs – based on driving 10,000 miles a year in a Ford Focus – also went up from £1,400 to £1,721 a year.

This 22.9 per cent increase comes as oil prices are forced up by unrest in the Middle East, fuel duty increases at home and the recent VAT hike to 20 per cent. The survey by Sainsbury’s Finance of more than 2,000 adults also discovered that MOT test costs have risen 1.9 per cent, while motoring taxes have increased by an average of 5.1 per cent.

Ben Tyte, head of motor insurance at Sainsbury’s Finance, said: “The cost of motoring has soared in recent months as all costs, but particularly fuel prices and insurance premiums, continue to rise. “The cost of driving can be kept better in check by shopping around, particularly for fuel and car insurance.”

Earlier in the year, research by the AA found that filling stations were ripping off motorists by failing to pass on the fall in wholesale costs to their customers. Research found there was a 4.4 per cent dip in prices in Europe – to 121p a litre – at the start of the year.

In Britain, however, there was a 1.18 per cent increase to 129p. And last week, The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which represents 35million drivers and includes the AA and RAC, wrote to the European Union complaining that the way prices are set is ‘far from transparent’. It followed further rises in petrol prices as the cost of a barrel of crude oil rose above $125. But prices have not fallen as quickly as the price of oil has dropped.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: “Motorists are going bust on us. No one is giving us any answers as to why petrol prices are so high. We need greater transparency so that everyone can see we are paying a fair price for fuel.”

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