Home | Blog | The cost of motoring accelerates 8% in 2024

The cost of motoring accelerates 8% in 2024

By Craig Perry
29th February 2024

  • Motorists will spend nearly £200 more this year on the cost of running a car, compared to 2023.
  • Fuel is still the biggest expense however motorists are expected to save on petrol this year.
  • Insurance premiums make up more than a quarter of motoring costs, following a 27% price hike in the past year.

Soaring insurance premiums are driving up the cost of motoring with UK drivers estimated to spend £2,585 in running costs this year. The analysis1 by The Green Insurer, the UK’s first green car insurance broker, reveals the average annual cost of running a car is up 8% - or £197 – from £2,388 in 2023.

Fuel remains the biggest expense for motorists this year, accounting for 39% of the overall cost of running a car. This is down from 42% in 2023, following a slight fall in petrol prices.

Motorists are however unlikely to pocket the £4 saving made on fuel this year, as the average insurance premium has risen by thirty-seven times this amount (£147) in the same period. As a result, insurance now makes up 27% of all running costs, compared to 23% a year ago.

Car repairs and servicing make up the third largest cost to motorists (17%), followed by road tax (8%).

Table of the estimated costs of running a car in 2024, compared with 2023

Costs associated with running a car Estimated cost in 2023 Estimated cost in 2024 YOY change (£) YOY change (%)
Unleaded petrol2 £1,005.58 £1,001.72 -£3.86 -0.38%
Insurance3 £543.00 £689.70 £146.70 27.02%
Accessories and fittings4 £16.35 £17.25 £0.90 5.50%
Spare parts4 £114.44 £120.74 £6.29 5.50%
Other motor oils4 £5.81 £5.92 £0.11 1.90%
Repairs, servicing and other work4 £399.84 £433.03 £33.19 8.30%
Motoring organisation subscription (e.g. AA and RAC)5 £17.69 £18.61 £0.92 5.20%
Garage rent and other costs (e.g. car washing)4 £36.98 £35.24 -£1.74 -4.70%
Parking fees, tolls, and permits4 £36.00 £39.14 £3.13 8.70%
Anti-freeze, battery water, cleaning materials4 £5.81 £5.92 £0.11 1.90%
Motoring fines4 £6.00 £6.52 £0.52 8.70%
Motor vehicle road taxation payments less refunds4 £200.49 £210.92 £10.43 5.20%
Total costs £2,388.00 £2,584.70 £196.70 8.24%

Further research by The Green Insurer5 reveals 15% of motorists are currently considering giving up driving over the next 12 months as a direct result of the rising costs associated with owning and operating a car. Rising car insurance premiums are a real concern for over a half (51%) of all car owners, with motorists describing themselves as “very worried” (11%) or “quite worried” (40%) that the escalating prices of car insurance will ultimately force them to stop driving and give up their car.

Similarly, motorists are being forced to wait months and even years to start driving their own car when they pass their driving tests, partly because of high insurance costs. While 14% of motorists need to wait three months to start driving their own car, a further 16% report that they needed to wait between one and five years.

Paul Baxter, CEO said: The cost-of-living crisis has tightened its grip leaving households across the country desperate to ease the squeeze. Our analysis shows that motorists are now paying around £200 a year more to keep their cars on the road, as insurance premiums continue to pick up pace, prompting drivers to adopt a range of cost cutting measures.

“Cost reductions are key to attracting today's frugal consumer, which is why we are focused on securing special deals with insurers for people making positive adjustments in the way they drive.

“In addition to saving money on fuel, our environmentally conscientious customers can benefit from a range of discounts and rewards, which we have negotiated with some of the country’s leading brands including Eurostar, Airbnb and HelloFresh, as well as all major supermarkets.”

  • [1] Based on The Green Insurer’s analysis of various sources of data: rac.co.uk; petrolcalculator.co.uk; fuelly.com; gov.uk; Consumer Intelligence; confused.com
  • [2] Fuel costs estimated on average economy of a Ford Fiesta (as below), with average unleaded prices by year sourced from RAC Fuel Watch on February 13, 2024
    A Ford Fiesta does on average 42 MPG (source: fuelly.com).
    Average UK unleaded prices by year (source: rac.co.uk):
    2023 = 140.64 pence per litre / 639.91 pence per gallon
    2024 YTD = 140.10 pence per litre / 637.46 pence per gallon
    Average miles driven in a year = 6,600 (Source: National Travel Survey 2022)
    Number of gallons to drive 6,600 miles = 157.14
    Cost of fuelling a car in 2023 = £1,005.58 (157.14 * £6.399)
    Cost of fuelling a car in 2024 = £1,001.72 (157.14 * £6.375)
  • [3] ABI Motor Insurance Premium Tracker
    2023 - the annual average motor premium was £543.
    2024 - the average motor premium was £627 in Q4 2023, a further rise of 10% is forecast in 2024, according to EY’s latest UK Motor Insurance Results = £689.70 (£627 + 10%)
  • [4] ONS, Family Spending Report 2022.
    Applied Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH)
    to calculate the corresponding figures for 2023 (percentage change over the 12 months to December 2022) and 2024 (percentage change over the 12 months to December 2023):
    Table 1 – RPI index (motoring organisation subscription and motor vehicle road taxation payments less refunds)
    Table 8 – CPIH detailed changes – 07.2 Operation of personal transport equipment
  • [5] (5) Independent consumer research conducted by Viewsbank among a nationally representative sample of 1,135 adults aged 18-plus including 888 car owners between November 17th and 20th 2023.