Page last updated at 19:04 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 20:04 UK

Driving: The road to bankruptcy?

Man fills up his car with petrol
UK motorists are now paying an average of 19% more to keep their cars on the road than in 2007, according to the RAC.

In the last year, annual running costs for an average family car have increased by 277 to 2,435.

That works out at 47 a week or 20.3p a mile, totting up the cost of fuel and maintenance.


What effect have the increases had on your life? You have been sharing your stories with BBC News:

I drive slower, I free-wheel down hills. The government earns 222 million a day from fuel duty on cars. That's the cost of a mission to Mars every four hours. As people use less, the tax will have to come from somewhere else. Good for the environment I hear you say, but the tax will have to come from somewhere.
Tom Bayes, Rothwell

I only fill up what I need. Gone are the days when I used to fill up regardless of my plans. We don't go off for social drives anymore. At the weekends we set off from home on foot to explore new places. I have also rediscovered the joy of train travel. So, yes, the prices have hugely impacted my lifestyle, but looking at it quite critically I think it has changed for the better.
Judy, Leeds, UK

I decided to cycle just before the prices went through the roof. I've found that I really enjoy my cycle into work. It's not too sweaty as it's downhill all the way going in, and I arrive feeling alert and raring to go instead of yawning from a stuffy bus. I hardly use my car now at all - the prices are mad. I fill my car about once every three months, so I really notice the rises when I do.
Jackie, Edinburgh

The abysmal state of my local bus service has actually provoked me to drive my own car more than ever. The problem is the price of fuel is hitting everyone and bus fare prices are being forced up. This leaves me a small fortune to pay to use a bus service which is notoriously unreliable, seated in chewing gum stained seats. If I'm going to be spending unreasonable amounts of money on getting from A to B then for the good of my health I'd rather pay that little bit extra to drive my own car.
Alice Graveling, Dereham, UK

I had my car converted to run on LPG (autogas) about five weeks ago. I now pollute less and at the last fill up paid 49.9p per litre as opposed to 105.9 per litre for petrol. No contest!
John, High Wycombe

My travel and maintenance costs haven't risen at all. I don't drive anymore. It's the only way to keep the costs reasonable, despite the appalling buses, timekeeping and fare rises.
Ian Cooper, Telford

I drive to and from London once a week, and it's still far cheaper than getting the train (even with off-peak pricing), and a lot less hassle. It can take an hour to get from a village outside Cambridge to the train station because there are no direct services to the train station in Cambridge.
JeeBee, London

Although we live in a suburb where every household seems to have at least two cars, we haven't owned one for four years. And most of the time we haven't missed it. We walk or take the bus. Occasionally we take a taxi but what we spend on bus and taxi fares per month is less than half of what we'd spend on car insurance and petrol.
Louise Moyer, Cox Green, Berkshire

I have seen my travel costs to get to work make my job unsustainable. But because I like my job I have made the simple investment in converting my cars to LPG. I am saving 33% on fuel costs month-to-month and LPG is selling at 48p per litre near me so it was the obvious decision.
David Thompson, Coventry

My fuel bill to work was 300 a month, and played a part in bankrupting me. Now I drive a P-reg Xantia costing 79.5p a litre to fuel on vegetable oil, and next to nothing to service myself.
Andy, Milton Keynes




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