RAC Cars News


The Constantly Rising Cost Of Motoring

By raccars Published

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It's no secret that the cost of running a car is hitting British motorists harder every year. However, the facts and figures of the last 25 years present an even more frightening picture than most might guess.

One of the worst price jumps can be seen in the cost of insurance. The average cost of insuring a car in 1988 was just £150, in 2008 it was £650, but consumers in 2013 are paying an average £1,193 for their policies.

The cost of fuel is an ever popular subject of debate and is spurring auto manufacturers to devise ever more creative ways of making their engines more efficient. With the price of fuel topping £1.30 per litre for more than two years now, the average 55 litre tank cost £75 last year. However in 1988, at a per litre price of 36.7p, the cost of filling the tank came in at £42.

Car buyers have seen the cost of new vehicles rise similarly. The average amount spent on a new car in 1988 was £12,207, but the average car buyer in 2012 spent £27,919. In 1988, a new VW Golf Gti cost from £11,000, with the price in 2013 having risen to £25,845. While insurance and fuel price rises have far outstripped the rate of inflation, new car prices have fared somewhat better and, given the improvement in vehicle quality in that time, it could be argued that new car buyers are getting a better deal now.

However, take a look at motor running costs in 1950 for a real eye opener – petrol then cost 3.3p per litre and road tax was £10 per year.

Car ownership isn't the only area to penalise consumers. The price of a pint of beer has gone from 88p to £2.80, a packet of cigarettes from £1.48 to £7.10, a newspaper from 25p to £1.20, a cinema ticket from £2.17 to £6.37, pint of milk from 26p to 46p and a first class stamp from 19p to 60p. One of the most significant increases was seen in the average house price, which was £49,355 in 1988 but £233,000 in 2012.

However it's not all bad news – the average weekly wage has gone from £218 in 1988 to £609, but many Brits would no doubt consider that this fails to cover the extra expenditure in just about every other area.

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