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Car costs `far outstrip` inflation

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The cost of running a car has risen to an average of £2,395 a year, far outstripping the rate of inflation of the last decade, says price comparison company uSwitch.com.

The firm's report claims that if car insurance, servicing, tax and fuel had stayed in line with inflation, drivers would now be paying only £1,787.

And if costs rise at the current rate, by 2017 they will pay an average £3,659 - £114bn nationally - to keep their cars on the road - making the need to find competitively priced car insurance quotes ever more pressing.

In 1997 it cost £854 a year to fill a car with petrol. This has now increased 94% to £1,657 a year, £521 more than if prices had stayed in line with the rate of inflation.

Meanwhile, car maintenance now costs 11%, or £228, a year more compared to last year and 78%, or £1,051, more than in 1997.

And since 1997, insurance has outstripped inflation by 29%, with average premiums increasing from £311 to £535 a year. Tax has seen the smallest increase, with motorists now paying just 2% more than they did a decade ago.

© The Press Association 2008