With car insurance rates and petrol prices spiraling, it seems that the nation’s honeymoon with their cars may be over – and that Brits need to make hard choices in order to save money and make ends meet.
MPs recently called upon the Chancellor to change his minds for a scheduled fuel duty rise that could ostensibly lead to even more trouble for households already paying through the nose to their car insurance companies. Early 2012 would see taxes on petrol increase by 3p, while August would bring an additional 5p, and both increases could go far to make things worse for British families.
MPs argued that the average British motorist pays around £700 in taxes alone already. In fact, only 40 per cent of what drivers pay at the pump is for the petrol going in their fuel tanks – the rest goes straight to the taxman, out of every 133p spent on petrol, 58p goes to the Treasury, VAT takes up 22p, and the oil company gets 53p.
Adding maintenance, road tax, MoT fees, and even discount car insurance into the mix, the annual cost of running a motor ends up being a tidy sum indeed. It’s enough to get someone using public transport to alleviate the pressure on finances, yet motoring is so ingrained in the British psyche that many will cling to their cars at all costs – even if they could do without.
Around one million drivers have had no choice but to relinquish their hold on their cars due to increased motoring costs, according to recently released research. Many more have taken steps to minimise the economic impact of their motoring, such as the approximately 3.5 million drivers who have downsized their vehicles to a more fuel-efficient one.