Friday 27th May 2016
Is your petrol bill cheaper than in 2005? A tank costs £8 more, but there’s a good chance your annual fuel bills are less.

The cost of fuel has risen steady, fluctuating along the way, but ultimately leading to higher prices in the long run. But interestingly, the overall annual cost of fuel appears to have reduced.

Rob Hull, The Mail Online, reports:

With the rise of fuel costs over the last 10 years, you might think your annual fuel bills are bigger today than they were back in 2005 - but for many UK motorists, that's not the case.

The Office for National Statistics has launched a new tool allowing people to compare their existing fuel costs with those over the last decade.

And while the calculator shows a 55-litre fuel tank cost £8 less to fill up in 2005 than it would today, our number-crunching reveals that the improved efficiency of vehicles over the last 10 years suggests a Ford Fiesta owner could be paying £123 less a year on fuel.

Fuel for thought: While the cost of filling up with fuel has increased over the last decade, newer cars are using it more economically. This improved efficiency means you could be saving money each year compared to 10 years ago

The ONS fuel calculator not only lets you compare the cost of filling up a tank of fuel over a 10-year time frame, it also allows you to input data about your vehicle's fuel economy and the mileage you cover to crunch the numbers on your fuel bills.

As previously reported, the tool suggests that drivers are saving £18.57 every time they fill up their car compared to when petrol prices hit a peak in the spring of 2012, equating to a saving of more than £45 a month for someone who has a daily 60-mile round-trip commute to work.

However, using the tool to travel further back in time shows a top-up today is £8.18 more expensive than it was if filling up with petrol in 2005.

But this doesn't necessarily mean the average Briton is spending significantly more on petrol and diesel each year - in fact, you could be spending less, but only if you're driving a newer car.

While it's difficult to know the exact miles per gallon you're achieving, new cars available in show rooms today are significantly more fuel economical than they were in a decade ago - on paper, at least.

When we ran the numbers to compare a like-for-like Ford Fiesta - the UK's best-selling car over the last ten years - from 2005 to one that's available today, a 2016 model would cost £123.03 less to run annually using the fuel prices relevant to each year.

That's based on covering 7,900 miles per year - the average UK mileage in 2013.

We also looked at comparable models (based on fuel type and power output) from 2005 and 2016 for four other mainstream cars, all of which have featured in the top 10 most-bought cars in the UK over the last decade.

The biggest difference in fuel bills was presented by the Vauxhall Astra.

A four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol version with 104bhp and a claimed fuel return of 43mpg in 2005 would have cost £717.16 to fuel in 2005.

The comparable model today, a three-cylinder turbocharge 1.0-litre unit producing the same power figure but with a claimed 66mpg, costs £547.36 - a saving of £169,80 a year.

So if you’re driving a newer car than you were 10 years ago, it means you’re more than likely paying less in fuel than you used to be. This shows advances in the fuel economy of modern cars and makes for a promising future, especially if fuel prices are to remain uncertain.

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