The RAC Again

I have just stumbled across a document presented as evidence to parliament in 2008 by the RAC on the subject of the costs of motoring…

Compare this article this week

The top concern for drivers was the cost of motoring, with 46% choosing it as their most serious driving problem.

The report said that while the cost of living in the UK had gone up by almost 125% since 1989, many motoring costs had risen much faster, with fuel costing 303% more and the combined cost of tax and insurance up 344%.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, warned that people on the lowest incomes were “drowning under the weight of motoring costs”.

He said: “The government’s recent freeze on fuel duty, while welcome, is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic – ultimately futile.”

With the document from 2008

Our 2008 research has shown that UK motorists think the single biggest change in motoring over the last twenty years has been the increased cost of motoring. To follow this up, RAC conducted a special analysis to decide whether this has actually been the case. Our analysis showed that despite the perception, the cost of motoring in real terms has fallen, even when rising fuel prices were taken into account. In real terms, we found it is 18% cheaper to buy or run a car (comprising service and repair costs, insurance, road tax and breakdown cover), including fuel costs, in 2008 than it was in 1988. However given that the most visible cost—fuel prices—has almost doubled over that same period, it is perhaps unsurprising why motorists remain unconvinced by this.

The price of fuel in Sept 2008 was 112.9ppl, I estimate that the increase in price of fuel since then (about 22ppl) is worth about £250/year, much less than 18% of the total cost of motoring, therefore we can be confident that the cost of motoring is still declining in real terms since 1989.

In the most recent report the RAC were quite careful not to say the real terms cost of motoring is increasing, the just “forgot” to take inflation into account when making stupid statements like “fuel costing 303% more”


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