Inflation drives cost of motoring up to highest level in seven years

15 November 2007
Drivers have been hit by the biggest increase in motoring costs for more than seven years after the price of fuel, car insurance and general motor maintenance in Britain rose by 3.5 percent in the year to October, which is the largest increase since the petrol crisis of July 2000.

Data from the Office of National Statistics has revealed that UK motorists are bearing the brunt of the high inflation after fuel tax soared in the month of October, putting even more of a strain on households struggling to pay the extreme costs of living in modern Britain.

With average pay rises currently lagging behind the rate of inflation at 3.7 per cent, vehicle excise duties and insurance shot up by 6.1 percent. Kate Gibbs, of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has expressed concern that angry hauliers may turn to protests in order to vent their anger at the Government’s relentless tax increases after fuel prices showed a continual rise over the last consecutive 12 week period.

Furthermore, the RHA calculates that the two pence increase in fuel duty, coupled with further planned increases of 2p and 1.8p in the coming two years could cost lorry drivers a further £3,000 a year in running costs.

According to the Treasury, the real cost of motoring is around 15 percent lower than in 2000, and that fuel duty rates are 15 percent lower in real terms than they were in 1999.

Yet, further research by Barclays has shown that it isn’t just exorbitant fuel prices that are bothering UK motorists, 98 percent of drivers claim that there is something that drives them mad about motoring in the UK.

Unsurprisingly, coming in at the top of the poll was the rising cost of fuel with over a quarter of motorists citing it as their main complaint about motoring, however Londoners are unconcerned about fuel prices. The London traffic jams, parking restrictions, road-works, motoring fines and charges are what drives them to distraction.

Gary Duggan, Managing Director for Barclays Personal Loans comments: “With petrol and diesel above £1 in most places, it is perhaps surprising that three quarters of motorists can find some other aspect of driving that drives them more mad than fuel prices – however, Londoners are obviously the least happy finding five other things that irritate them more.”

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