Published: 18/03/2022
  • Typical cost of running a car has increased by £291 year-on-year due to higher insurance and fuel costs
  • Drivers will spend an average of £955 on petrol this year at current prices
  • Average car insurance premiums have also risen by £60 year-on-year in February to reach £673

The cost of running a car has increased by £291 year on year, according to the latest figures from comparethemarket.com. It now costs an average of £1,860 to run a car for 12 months.

Average annual cost of running a car

Cost name 2022 Cost 2021 Cost
Average Insurance Premium
(Feb 2022 & Feb 2021)
£673 £613
Fuel (Unleaded Petrol) £955
(£1.64 per litre – RAC Fuel Watch)
(£1.24 per litre - ONS Monthly Statistics)
Est. VED (Road Tax), second tax payment onwards £155 £155
MOT £55 £55
Breakdown cover £22 £24
Total cost per year £1,860 £1,569

The cost of driving is even more expensive for young drivers. The latest research from comparethemarket.com shows drivers aged between 17-24 years old pay an average of £1,154 on their car insurance. This means the typical cost of running a car for a young driver now stands at £2,341.

Drivers can use comparethemarket.com’s young drivers tool to check if they could be paying too much for their insurance based on their age, location, and the value of their car.

Alex Hasty, director at comparethemarket.com, comments: 

“Motorists will understandably be worried that the cost of driving is increasing rapidly. Soaring petrol prices and rising insurance premiums are hitting household finances when budgets are being squeezed by rising inflation and surging energy costs. If these increases continue, there is a risk that driving will become prohibitively expensive for lots of people. Young motorists in particular may struggle to afford to drive as they face much higher insurance costs.

"One way drivers could save money is by shopping around for a cheaper deal on their car insurance ahead of their renewal. Many people leave it until the last minute to switch; however, you could save a significant amount of money by switching earlier. Our figures show that the cost of motor insurance can be £306 cheaper by switching 20 days before the end of a policy compared to the day of renewal.”

Fuel costs have significantly increased year on year as drivers are set to spend an average of £955 on petrol this year, based on unleaded petrol costing £1.64 per litre.

Fuel costs Mar-22 Mar-21
Average Litres per 100km (Petrol cars) - Table ENV0103 5.40 5.40
Average Annual mileage (NTS0901) 6,700 6,700
Average annual total km 4-wheel car 10,783 10,783
Multiple for annual consumption 107.826048 107.826048
Average annual litre consumption 582.260659 582.260659
Price per litre petrol (Premium Unleaded) £1.64 (RAC Fuel Watch) £1.24 (ONS Monthly Statistics)
Average annual fuel spend £955 £722

Notes to editors:


All data is sourced from comparethemarket.com unless stated.

When the “average price” is referred to, this is the mean average of the top five cheapest prices presented to a customer, where a consumer has clicked through to buy. Buying from the top five cheapest prices presented represents 90% of all car insurance sales. When the “cheapest price” is referred to, this is the average cheapest price presented, where a customer has clicked through to buy.

Premium Drivers calculates the cost of premiums where the customer has clicked through to buy the policy. If the average premium cost was instead calculated on the basis of all prices returned, then the average cost would be significantly higher.

About comparethemarket.com

comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past sixteen years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.

comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as credit cards and loans.

comparethemarket.com actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers

comparethemarket.com is a trading name of Compare The Market Limited. Registered in England No. 10636682. Registered Office: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS. Compare The Market Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance distribution (Firm Reference Number: 778488). Energy and Digital products are not regulated by the FCA.