Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A quarter of motorists are struggling with travel expenses as diesel hits record high

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With prices on diesel pumps reaching 180p, the cost of running a car is becoming prohibitive for a growing number of drivers

Research by Compare the Market found that a quarter of motorists now found the cost of running their car prohibitive, with one in three motorists worried about not being able to cover the costs in the coming weeks.

One in four motorists has admitted they have struggled to afford travel expenses over the past month as diesel prices hit a new record high.

The results come as data from the RAC showed that the average price of diesel in the UK hit 180.29p on May 15, above the previous high of 179.9p on March 23.

Meanwhile, petrol is up 3p over the last week to 166.65p, closer to the 167.3p set on March 22.

More than eight in 10 drivers have spent more on fuel in the last six months, while insurance costs have also increased for almost three in 10 drivers.

This has increased the average annual cost of driving a petrol car by £313 year-on-year to £1,843.

Disturbingly, the study found that two-fifths of drivers feel they are not earning enough to cover the higher cost of driving, a figure that rises to 55 percent among 25-34 year olds.

Almost a third of drivers expect to take on additional debt to afford to drive.

Alex Hasty, director at Compare the Market, said the rising cost of driving is starting to have an impact on how people live their lives.

“A lot of people who don’t live in a big city rely on their car to get around,” he said.

“However, high fuel costs are now forcing drivers to make fewer journeys and some need to see fewer friends and family. Worryingly, many people expect to go into debt to keep driving.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said diesel had hit a record high despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 5p per liter tariff cut, largely because efforts to break away from importing Russian oil had tightened supply and caused prices to rise.

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles have to be prepared for even more pain at the pump,” he said.

“Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15 per cent, as we are asking him to do, rather than reducing the duty by 5p, diesel drivers would be better off by around 2p a liter, or £1 for each full tank of fuel.

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is the same as before the spring declaration.”

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