Motorists may have benefited from a dip in fuel prices but the average cost of running a car has still risen by £539 in the last year, according to the RAC.
Its latest ‘Cost of Motoring’ index, which tracks all costs associated with owning and running 17 different models of car, shows that drivers now pay out an average of more than £5,500 a year to run their car, equivalent to £15 a day.
Depreciation is the biggest single expense, accounting for £2,420 of costs on average in 2006 – a 22 per cent increase over last year’s figure.
And, while the annual cost of fuel has fallen from £1,155 last year to £1,112 this year, the cost of financing a car, insuring it, maintaining it and taxing it have all risen.
RAC spokesman and index author Sean Morris, said: “The second biggest investment we make after home ownership – car buying – is getting bigger.
‘For such an important decision, too few of us understand the spread of costs associated with owning and running a car.
‘The index results will be unwelcome news for many, but motorists must better understand the true cost of their vehicles.’
According to the figures, the bill for running a car, with last year’s figures in brackets and including RAC membership is:
Depreciation £2,420 (£1,987)
Fuel £1,112 (£1,155)
Cost of finance £1,040 (£948)
Insurance £412 (£389)
Maintenance £300 (£271)
Tax £129 (£124)
RAC membership £126 (£126)
Total cost (per year) £5,539 (£5,000)
Total cost (per week) £106.51 (£96.15)
Total cost (per mile) £0.46 (£0.42)