Britain's poorest drivers hit by rising cost of motoring

Skint driver
17 Feb, 2014 10:58am Chris Ebbs

Recent research reveals families spend 31 per cent of income on motoring

The least well off families in the UK have slipped further into transport poverty, according to new figures.

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the RAC Foundation found that around 800,000 car-owning households spent at least 31 per cent of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle in 2012, compared to 27 per cent the previous year.

The poorest families – those among the lowest 10 per cent of household incomes in the UK – had a weekly spend of just £167. And £51.40 of this was to buy and run a car, including £16.40 on fuel, £9.50 on insurance and £6.10 on repairs and servicing.

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According to the RAC Foundation, the average spend on motoring across all car-owning households is around 15 per cent of total expenditure. This is almost half of that of the poorest households.

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Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “For the poorest car owners, there is little opportunity to cut motoring costs further. They’ll already be driving as little as they can and will have cut back on things like maintenance.”

Meanwhile, figures from the ONS revealed that all motoring costs, bar purchasing a car, have risen well above the cost of living over the past 10 years.

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Are we going back to the early 20th century, when having a car was a privilege for the rich, rather than being seen as a 'right' for all?

Owning a car and being able to drive should be viewed as a privilege. And not only financially but also responsibility wise.

When I grew up some people didn't have cars and most only had one. Now we just expect everything without working for it.

Just my opinion.

And mine also.

Outside big cities cars are an essential part of modern life and the government derives a lot of tax from car ownership. Cars are without doubt a very important part of our economy and a necessity for workers and families in many parts of Britain. Hitting the poorest sectors of society through very high motoring costs and to keep them in work and spending money a car is an essential tool whether we wish to ignore that fact or not!

Cars are not a "right", they are a commerical product that you purchase. Saying a car is a right would be the same as saying a 42" 3D HD TV is a right - it isn't, its a privilage.

Not owning a car doesn't immediatly stop you from being able to move past your drive-way: get a travel pass, buy a bike, WALK. All three of those options will be far, FAR cheaper than owning a car and still get you to where you need to go.

Knowing how to drive is a privilage and owning a car is a conveniance; but in no way, shape or form is it a someone's right to own a metal box on 4 wheels. Its just a culture expexting things on a silver platter.

Agreed! Well expressed.