Downturn drives down motoring costs

* Cost of motoring falls in recession * Motorists switch to smaller cars * Driving is 5% cheaper than in 2008...

Downturn drives down motoring costs

Running a car is getting cheaper, according to a report from the RAC.

The RAC's annual cost of motoring index reveals that the amount car owners spend on a year's motoring has fallen by 5% in 2009, with the average car now costing 2219 to keep on the road.

Cash-strapped drivers cut costs
Many motorists admit to having changed their driving habits to save money during the economic downturn, with 28% using their cars less, while 6% have switched to a smaller, more economical car.

Fuel prices have most influence
The fluctuating cost of petrol and diesel has also had a marked effect on the cost of motoring, and although prices have been increasing recently, the average is still lower than during the peak of 2008.

The RAC's report revealed that it costs an average of 18.5p a mile to run a typical new car compared with 19.5p a mile last year. The RAC says most of the difference is due to fuel costs.

Green concerns take a back seat
Motorists who admit to changing their driving habits are mostly doing so to save money, although 28% say that environmental considerations have also played a role.

The report also highlighted the number of car owners who are unable to change their current vehicle, with a quarter of those questioned saying that they couldn't afford to reduce the number of vehicles they owned, or to buy a smaller car. Around 8% said they were unable to sell their current vehicle due to outstanding finance.