A cost index compiled by the RAC has revealed that motorists in the UK are now paying an average of 19% more to keep their cars on the road than they were this time last year.
The annual cost for running an average family car based solely on fuel and maintenance has soared to £2,435 - an increase of £277 year-on-year, the figures revealed.
When taking other costs into account such as finance packages, depreciation and insurance, the total has gone up from £5,627 last year to £6,133 this year.
Despite the high costs, 67% of drivers told the RAC they would not give up their car until better public transport was made available.
RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "Our index is designed to help cash-strapped motorists by highlighting hidden cost, including depreciation.
"With the credit crunch hitting motorists hard in their pocket, we encourage UK drivers now more than ever to take all potential financial implications of car running costs into account to better manage their budgets."
He added: "With the majority of UK motorists also admitting that reliance on their cars would only change if we had more effective and cheaper public transport, the RAC is urging the Government to ensure money from motoring taxes is directly invested into improving the current public transport system."
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