Recent data published by Confused.com has exposed the spiralling cost of car ownership, particularly the increased cost of car insurance. Rising petrol prices contributed to the jump in September’s inflation rate to 1%, and petrol prices are expected to rise further due to increasing oil prices and the weaker pound. Parking charges are always increasing; the London Congestion Charge is set to rise under Sadiq Khan’s leadership as London mayor; MOTs, road tax and depreciation are always costing motorists money. Owning a car has never been so expensive…
And then we come to the highest running cost of all – insurance. Confused.com recently published statistics indicating that insurance prices have soared by 17% on average in the past year. This is equivalent to £109 and averages out at £737 a year for a typical policy. The steep rise is partly explained by an increase in insurance premium tax, introduced in the last Budget, from 6 to 10%.
Older drivers have seen the biggest squeeze – 66-year-olds now pay a staggering 28% more than 12 months ago, at £434. Younger drivers, unsurprisingly, still pay the most, at £2,083 on average. Insurance for males has increased by 19%, 4% more than for women, resulting in a difference of £98 on average between the two sexes. This comes as a surprise, given EU laws restricting discrimination based on gender in insurance policy. If you live in the Scottish Borders region, expect to pay, on average, less than half for your insurance than those in London, at £584 compared to £1,193!
The steep rise in the cost of insurance in just the past year is extremely noticeable (17% on average; 28% for 66-year-olds!). Combined with all the other running costs of owning your own vehicle, plus the initial purchase price, it might be time to ask yourself: is owning my own car really worth the money? Do the maths and see for yourself. You might be paying an extortionate amount every year for a car that sits parked for over 95% of its life.
The best alternative is to join a car club. This option can not only save you money (up to £2,000 a year, according to Carplus), but also removes much of the hassle that comes with owning your own car, as well as being more environmentally-friendly (especially if the car club is entirely electric! Hint hint). In light of the threat of global warming and the need to decrease the number of cars on the road, combined with rising ownership costs, more and more drivers cannot justify owning their own vehicle. With many already reaping the benefits of car clubs such as E-Car, the revolution is well under way.