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Used cars 'more expensive to run'

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It is more expensive to run a second-hand car than a new vehicle, it has been claimed, with yearly running costs for older models more expensive than newly-bought cars.

An RAC cost-of-motoring index found that drivers paid £2,219 a year to run a new car and £2,744 a year for a used car, with an increase in annual maintenance costs of £421.

The organisation also found that 80% of motorists seemed to feel the pinch, reporting that annual running costs were up on last year despite a fall of 5% on last year's figures.

But the annual costs have been driven lower by a dip in fuel prices, with petrol being 10% cheaper than a year ago and diesel prices falling 14%.

The RAC index showed that 45% of people have made changes to their car ownership habits in 2009, with a fifth of these getting rid of their second car, with 28% of motorists using their car less and 6% switching to a smaller model.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "While it's good news that the costs of running a car have slightly dropped in the past 12 months, it probably won't feel like it at a time when the family budget is being squeezed from all sides."

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