Lower car maintenance bills and more fuel-efficient cars have put the brake on the rising cost of motoring, it was revealed today.
The cost of running the average family car has risen this year, but by only 3 per cent compared with an 11 per cent rise in 2006.
At the same time, public transport fares have risen by more than the rate of inflation, hitting the government’s plans to get more people off the roads, said RAC Direct Insurance, which produced the cost of motoring figures.
The company’s statistics showed that the average family car now costs £5,627 a year to keep on the road – an increase of £162.70 on last year’s figure.
Car maintenance costs have fallen 8 per cent and lower petrol and diesel prices compared with a year ago and more fuel-efficient vehicles have led to further savings.
But vehicle depreciation has increased, with the average car now losing £2,357 a year in value.
Average car tax has gone down a little, but 4×4 owners have had to contend with a rise of nearly 60 per cent. In contrast, those with ‘green’ cars have enjoyed a tax decrease of 50 per cent.
The average annual cost of insurance premiums rose only slightly – by 1 per cent, or the equivalent of just over £4 year-on-year, with the majority of the increases due to a number of vehicles moving into higher insurance groups.
Which? Motoring Editor Richard Headland said: ‘The cost of running a car is still rising, although many motorists will be relieved that costs are creeping up rather than spiraling.
‘There are clearly many reasons for cash conscious drivers to move away from fuel inefficient, larger vehicles towards smaller, cleaner cars – not least lower tax, fuel, insurance and servicing bills.’
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