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Motorists count cost of keeping a car

Petrol prices and interest rates wipe out savings

The annual cost of keeping a car on the road has risen for drivers of all types of vehicle, according to the AA.

Owners of superminis were the only ones to see annual costs fall when comparing figures for April 2007 with those for April 2006.

But the May 2007 petrol price increase and the rise in interest rates has wiped out the supermini saving, the AA said.

Overall, drivers of petrol cars averaging 10,000 miles a year paid 65.0p a mile in annual motorist costs in April 2007 – a rise of 2.75p a mile on the April 2006 figure.

The new figure taking in May 2007 has pushed the annual cost up to 65.91p.

Diesel drivers

The average annual motoring cost for the driver of a diesel-powered vehicle doing an average of 10,000 miles a year was 59.61p a mile in April 2007 – a 1.84p a mile rise on the April 2006 figure.

The May 2007 diesel figure has fallen back slightly from the previous month – to 59.58p a mile.

The AA’s motoring cost figures include the price of petrol, road tax, insurance, depreciation, capital value of the car, servicing and repairs and parking and toll charges.

Drivers facing the biggest yearly bills are those who own luxury, petrol-powered cars (vehicles worth at least £30,000).

Their annual motoring costs rose from 103.46p a mile in April 2006 to 111.88p a mile in April 2007, going up further to 113.40p a mile in May 2007.

Family costs

The cost of running a small family car over 10,000 miles was £5,611 in April 2007, up from £5,534 last year. But the May rises have lifted that cost to £5,685.

Supermini owners initially enjoyed motoring costs that were a fraction of a penny cheaper per mile than last year.

However, the May rises have raised their annual cost from £4,336 to £4,401, leaving them £65 worse off over 10,000 miles.

AA public affairs technical specialist Vanessa Guyll said: ‘Over the past two years, the cost of motoring has dipped and made it cheaper to run a car. However, gains were lost during periods of high fuel prices.

‘This year, only superminis started with a tiny improvement – quickly negated by the interest rate rise and soaring fuel prices.

‘Insurance, depreciation and fuel are the three main elements in the cost of motoring and, on average, all are costing more and wiping out savings from longer tyre life and servicing intervals.

‘As most owners come to pay their motoring bills, each is more expensive than last year’s – undermining claims that cars are getting cheaper to run.’

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