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Record prices at the pumps but UK drivers have never had it so good

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9 March 2022

Brand new research from automotive specialists, Parkers, has revealed that UK motorists in 2022 have it better than we think. Analysing data across the last 50 years, Parkers has revealed the cost of everyday household items, running a car and average increase in annual salary to show that maybe 1972 weren’t ‘the good old days’.

  • Fuel costs have increased 30% in the last 50 years
  • Two in five motorists rate fuel costs a primary concern when choosing their car
  • Cost of alcohol has increased 244%
  • Mars bars have almost doubled in price in the last 50 years

Looking past cost of purchase, the data reveals some surprising statistics which will hopefully calm modern day motorists’ fears. Running costs, such as insurance, tax and fuel economy have all improved in the last 50 years. In 1972, all cars were subject to an annual cost of £25 in Vehicle Excise Duty which equates to £351 in today’s money. Compared to the £145-£155 you’re likely to pay in tax for a Ford Kuga today, it’s clear that motorists in 2022 have a better deal. The average cost of car insurance has also changed beyond belief with an average policy now coming in at £460, a saving on the £561 in 1972, when adjusted for inflation.

Keith Adams, Editor of, said, “I’m at an age when I can remember petrol being 35p per gallon, and don’t ever recall it feeling cheap at the time. Seeing these numbers adjusted for inflation backs up that impression potently – we might be paying more for petrol and diesel in real terms now but seeing as the average wage is double what it was then and cars are considerably more economical, it soon becomes clear just how much better we have it today, despite current worries about rising costs. It’s not just fuel either, as it’s the same story for all running costs – aside from purchase price.”

The full story can be found at:


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Notes to editors:

About Parkers is one of the UK’s biggest motoring advice websites, drawing more than 3 million sessions generating over 12 million page views a month who consume our expert car reviews, buying tools, valuations, advice, features and cars for sale (GA, February 2022).

For more information please contact:

Amy Canavan, Senior PR Specialist

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