In an Auto Trader survey, there has been a significant drop in concerns about the price of petrol and diesel over the past year.
In the survey, which pooled the views of 1,000 respondents in December 2014, 51 per cent of those surveyed said fuel costs were among their three biggest concerns when running a car, compared with 56 per cent for insurance costs. This contrasts with the start last year, when 70 per cent highlighted fuel costs as a top-three concern, with 59 per cent citing insurance costs.
The same 12-month period oversaw a drop of 16.6 per cent in the price of unleaded across forecourts, while diesel came down by 16 per cent. In January 2014, the average price of unleaded was reported as 130.5p per litre: by January 2015, the price had fallen to 108.9p, according to the AA’s monthly Fuel Price Report.
‘It’s not surprising that fuel price concerns have subsided in the last year,’ said Nick King, the market research director at Auto Trader.
‘However, the fact that more than half still register it as one of their three big concerns on motoring costs, suggests many view the decline as a short-term trend. For many others, fuel costs still represent a significant proportion of their overall motoring budget and disposable incomes.’
The cost of buying and running a vehicle is estimated to account for about a third of all disposable income among the 800,000 poorest car-owning households in the UK. And despite the drop in wholesale fuel prices, more than 69 per cent of the price paid at the pump still goes to the treasury thanks to fuel duty and VAT.
Auto Trader’s car buyer survey has been running for the past year and pools a nationally-representative sample of the population.