Monthly fuel bill for Britain’s drivers is £1.1bn higher than a year ago

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Motorists are collectively paying more than £1billion more at fuel fuel stations per month compared to a year ago, according to a new study.

Using average monthly petrol and diesel prices over the last 12 months, it has been estimated that in June drivers forked out a massive £3.44billion – £1.13billion more than in the same month in 2021.

The recent squeeze on motorists’ finances – on top of the cost-of-living crisis – means that almost three in five drivers now say that fuel economy is now one of their major considerations when buying a replacement car.

We reveal some of the most efficient new models on the market right now that could save drivers up to £288 on their annual fuel costs.

Such has been the sizable increase in fuel prices in recent months that the average fuel bill for UK drivers in July rose to a staggering £3.44billion, according to calculations in a new report

The numbers have been crunched by online car platform, CarGurus.

It calculated a monthly cost of filling up using average fuel prices in each of the last 12 months, while taking into account average UK mileage of 616.7 miles per month and average fuel efficiency of petrol (52.6mpg) and diesel cars (56.1mpg). 

In June 2021, the average driver of a petrol car was spending £69 on unleaded, while diesel owners were splashing almost £66,, taking the total UK spend to £2.31million, the report says.

At the end of October, both petrol and diesel surpassed the previous record price of both petrol and diesel, which had been held for nine years dating back to April 2012.

This saw the average cost of filling up that month escalate to £73 for those with petrol cars and almost £70 for those driving diesels, amounting to a UK monthly fuel bill of £2.44 billion.

By Christmas, with fuel prices still heading north, UK motorists spent £2.63billion in December.

However, the cost of filling up really began to spiral in February on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the price of oil spiraling.

Even with the Government’s intervention to shave 5p-a-litre off fuel duty in March in a hopeful bid to help drivers, petrol and diesel bills rose to an estimated £2.71billion – and by April and May it was up to £3billion each month.

June saw all-time record fuel prices achieved, hitting 191.25p for unleaded and 199.02p for a litre of diesel, sending total estimated filling station receipts to a staggering £3.44billion – some 49 per cent higher than they were a year earlier.

UK DRIVERS’ RISING ANNUAL FUEL BILL IN THE LAST YEAR
Month Avg fuel cost (petrol) Avg fuel cost (diesel) Total UK fuell bill (petrol) Total fuel bill (diesel) Total fuel bill (combined)
Jun-21 £69.03 £65.86 £1,423,890,215 £882,560,882 2,306,451,097
Jul-21 £70.22 £67.14 £1,448,515,864 £899,713,598 2,348,229,463
Aug-21 £72.11 £68.29 £1,487,323,249 £915,124,242 2,402,447,491
Sep-21 £72.11 £68.32 £1,487,415,854 £915,526,259 2,402,942,114
Oct-21 £72.97 £69.85 £1,505,155,109 £936,029,116 2,441,184,225
Nov-21 £76.84 £73.91 £1,584,981,754 £990,435,390 2,575,417,143
Dec-21 £78.50 £75.28 £1,619,222,640 £1,008,794,157 2,628,016,797
Jan-22 £77.57 £74.33 £1,600,039,493 £996,063,625 2,596,103,118
Feb-22 £78.30 £74.95 £1,615,097,232 £1,004,371,972 2,619,469,204
Mar-22 £80.84 £77.57 £1,667,489,914 £1,039,481,439 2,706,971,353
Apr-22 £87.03 £88.67 £1,795,171,291 £1,188,227,655 2,983,398,946
May-22 £86.91 £88.75 £1,792,696,046 £1,189,299,700 2,981,995,746
Jun-22 £101.93 £99.45 £2,102,514,187 £1,332,685,692 3,435,199,879
Difference YoY June 21 vs June 22 (£) £32.90 £33.59 £678,623,972 £450,124,810 1,128,748,782
Source: CarGurus. Calculated using average fuel prices in each month from June 2021 – June 2022, average monthly miles (616.7 miles) and average mpg of petrol (52.6mpg) and diesel cars (56.1mpg) on UK roads 

For Britons’ wallets, this amounted to an extra £30 a month per driver – equating to £360 over the course of the year, CarGurus said.

The largest month-on-month rise took place between May and June 2022, with the monthly spend jumping by almost half a billion pounds, rising from £2.98billion to £3.44billion.

That said, prices have started to soften in July, with Thursday’s UK average price of petrol and diesel now down to 187.19p and 195.88p respectively. 

With such a massive leap in fuel bills in recent months, CarGurus said it was ‘no surprise’ that motorists looking to buy a new or used motor in recent months have placed far greater importance on fuel efficiency.

In a poll of 2,000 motorists earlier this year, 57 per cent said one of the most important consideration for their next vehicle purchase is how frugal it is.

Chris Knapman, CarGurus UK editor, said: ‘Our research further underlines the financial impact the rising cost of petrol and diesel is having on the nation. 

‘It is no surprise then that fuel economy is now ranked the most important consideration when buying a car.

‘If drivers are in need of a new car, it’s clear choosing one of the most fuel-efficient models could save drivers hundreds of pounds per year at a time when it’s needed most.’

MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT NEW CARS ON SALE – AND HOW MUCH THEY COULD SAVE YOU IN PETROL AND DIESEL BILLS
Car MPG* Total fuel cost per year based on average mileage of 7,400 miles** Annual saving against average petrol/diesel model
MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT PETROL CARS ON SALE
Mazda2 1.5 90 Skyactiv-G 60.1mpg £1,070.52 £152.65
Kia Picanto 1.0 58.9mpg £1,092.34 £130.83
Toyota Aygo X 1.0 VVTi X 58.8mpg £1,094.19 £128.98
Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 100 56.7mpg £1,134.72 £88.45
Hyundai i10 1.0 67PS 56.5mpg £1,138.74 £84.43
MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT DIESEL CARS ON SALE
Peugeot 208 1.5 BlueHDi 71.4mpg £937.71 £255.74
Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 116 68.9mpg £971.73 £221.72
Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 68.9mpg £971.73 £221.72
Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 67.3mpg £994.84 £198.61
SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 67.3mpg £994.84 £198.61
MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT CONVENTIONAL HYBRID CARS ON SALE 
Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVTi 68.8mpg £935.15 £288.02
Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Blue Drive 62.8mpg £1,024.50 £198.67
Toyota Carolla 1.8 VVTi 5dr 62.7mpg £1,026.13 £197.04
Kia Niro 1.6 GDi 58.9mpg £1,092.34 £130.83
Hyundai Kona Hybrid 1.6 GDi 57.6mpg £1,116.99 £106.18
Source: CarGurus. Calculated using average fuel prices in each month from June 2021 – June 2022, average monthly miles (616.7 miles) and average mpg of petrol (52.6mpg) and diesel cars (56.1mpg) on UK roads
*MPG based on ‘official’ figures from WLTP 
The Mazda2 1.5 90 Skyactiv-G is the most fuel-efficient new petrol car on sale. Even at record-high June unleaded prices, it was cost just over £1,000 in fuel to cover average UK mileage

The Mazda2 1.5 90 Skyactiv-G is the most fuel-efficient new petrol car on sale. Even at record-high June unleaded prices, it was cost just over £1,000 in fuel to cover average UK mileage

The Peugeot 208 1.5 BlueHDi is the most fuel-efficient diesel model on sale, returning 71.4mpg

The Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVTi is the most economical new hybrid with a claimed 68.8mpg

The Peugeot 208 1.5 BlueHDi (left) is the most fuel-efficient diesel model on sale, returning 71.4mpg. Toyota’s Yaris (right) is the most economical new hybrid with a claimed 68.8mpg

To help drivers decide which motor to buy next, it listed the most fuel-efficient new petrol, diesel and traditional, self-charging, hybrid cars on sale right now,

It then worked out how much motorists could potentially save by choosing one of these over a car that returns the UK average mpg, with the costs calculated using the average price of petrol and diesel in June.

Topping the mpg charts for petrol, diesel and hybrid cars, were the Mazda2 1.5 90 Skyactiv-G (60.1mpg), Peugeot 208 1.5 BlueHDi (71.4mpg), and Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVTi (68.8mpg), respectively.

In terms of annual fuel saving compared to an average petrol or diesel car, the Mazda will reduce bills by £153, the Peugeot cutting them by £256 and the Toyota offering a potential reduction of £288.

If you want to know which is the most economical model sold by every mainstream car brand today, read our recent report detailing 29 of the country’s most popular manufacturers.

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