UK Motoring Cost Increase Outpaces Inflation

The Royal Automobile Club recently released data reflecting a 14 percent increase in motoring costs during the past year. It costs the average auto owner £128.64 weekly to operate a new vehicle.

This is an average of £1,556 more per year than the pre-recessionary 2007 figure. Owning a used car offers drivers little relief as their cost of ownership has increased 13.2 percent.

While the Consumer Price Index has a five percent inflation rate, new car ownership costs are increasing at almost three times that pace. Car finance is just one component of vehicle ownership costs.

Depreciation, insurance, and fuel represent several additional expenses. Even when depreciation and car loans are cut out of the equation, 11.1 percent more cash is required for daily vehicle operation.

Depreciation was the biggest culprit in the rising expenses, increasing 16.67 percent during the last year. A new vehicle loses value once it is driven off the dealer lot following a purchase. The second largest factor in increasing expenses came from car insurance, with premiums increasing 14.38 percent during the past year.

Many drivers are increasing their deductibles or trimming coverage to decrease insurance rates.

Higher prices at the fuel pump have also been to blame for increased motoring costs. During the past year, drivers spent 12.4 percent more on fuel than in the previous year. Unleaded fuel is an average of 15p per liter more expensive than last year and diesel fuel cost has increased even more, reaching approximately 18p more per liter.

Even vehicle maintenance costs have increased. They are an average of 8.8 percent higher and mechanics charge £80.44 per hour, on average, compared to £74.82 last year, according to This is Money.

The average cost of a car finance package has risen 9.85 percent this year and even RAC membership has increased, currently 4.21 percent higher than last year.