Cost of motoring down by 22% since 2013

Britain's drivers have benefited from a substantial fall in the cost of motoring over the past three years, according to new research.

Sainsbur…

Britain's drivers have benefited from a substantial fall in the cost of motoring over the past three years, according to new research.

Sainsbury's Bank revealed that the average annual cost of running a car has dropped by 22 per cent since 2013, from £2,835 to £2,197.

The biggest contributor to the expense of using a vehicle is fuel. It will cost the average motorist £1,031 to fill up this year, although this figure is 38 per cent lower than in 2013, when it was £1,658.

Servicing expenses are also on the decline, dropping ten per cent from £334 three years ago to £302 today.

Insurance, the second biggest outlay for drivers, has risen by five per cent from £595 to £626 over the past three years, while tax has gone up by three per cent from £194 to £200. 

Car insurance is one area where many consumers could make a saving this year, with a recent initiative launched by Sainsbury's Bank revealing that two-thirds (67 per cent) of vehicle owners are looking to shop around for cover.

Seven out of ten people (70 per cent) who switched providers last year did so to take advantage of the lowest available prices, according to insurance market research group Consumer Intelligence.

Around half (49 per cent) of customers who remained with their existing provider were hit with higher premiums.

Tom Thomson, head of car insurance at Sainsbury's Bank, said consumers should always have an eye on the market to see if they could cut their costs.

Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: "If you invest some time researching different insurance providers, you can make some huge savings. People need to get into the habit more of checking their renewal quotes and always shopping around to see if they can find a better deal.

"This is especially true at the moment because the cost of cover has increased during the past few months as the insurance premium tax rise from six per cent to 9.5 per cent in November comes into effect, and another rise to ten per cent will happen from October."

The expenses involved in running a vehicle could be an increasingly relevant concern for many UK consumers over the coming months, with another recent report from Sainsbury's Bank showing that about one in four UK adults (24 per cent) are thinking about buying a car before September 2016.

For three in ten prospective buyers (30 per cent), the main reason for considering the purchase was that they were generally feeling more confident about their finances, while 24 per cent of respondents said they had more disposable income to play with.

Car buyers currently anticipate spending £12,034 on average, compared to £10,290 a year ago.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, new car sales in Britain reached an all-time high in 2015.

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