Average car cost is now almost £7,000 per year

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Research by the RAC has shown that the average cost of running a new car is now £6,689 per year – a 14 percent leap over the cost in 2010.

That means car costs are rising well above the rate of inflation, and show no sign of slowing down.

Fuel duty is due to rise by 3p in January, although an online petition aimed at seeing that scrapped forced a Commons debate on the issue, so it may yet be scrapped. However, a further duty rise is planned in 2012, and if both go ahead the price of fuel will jump by at least 7p per litre.

The RAC says that fuel costs went up by 12.4 percent last year, adding over £160 to the average yearly fuel bill for a driver.

At the same time, insurance costs have risen over 14 percent, leveraging the average premium to £551. The insurance industry says it is being forced to hike premiums by rises in fraudulent claims and legal costs, among other things.

The 14 percent leap in motoring costs is three times more than the rate of inflation.

The RAC's Adrian Tink said: "With fuel prices continuing to be the biggest single running cost, UK drivers want action from the Government. At the very least, we are calling for the scrapping of next year's planned fuel duty increases."