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Rising costs hit car owners

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An RAC cost index suggests that UK motorists are paying on average 19% more to keep their car on the road than in 2007.

The 12-month cost of an average family car has risen to £2,435, an increase of £277 year-on-year.

Covering fuel and maintenance the average cost is now £47 a week or 20.3p a mile.

If all aspects of ownership are taken into account, the average cost has risen from £5,627 to £6,133, which works out at the average weekly cost rising from £108.20 to £117.94.

The RAC said such costs meant drivers now consider buying a car with lower running costs than their present model.

However, despite costs, 68% of drivers said they would not stop relying on their car until there was better public transport.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "Our index is designed to help cash-strapped motorists by highlighting hidden cost, including depreciation."

He added: "With the majority of UK motorists also admitting that reliance on their cars would only change if we had more effective and cheaper public transport, the RAC is urging the Government to ensure money from motoring taxes is directly invested into improving the current public transport system."

© The Press Association 2008