The poorest car owners in Britain are slipping further into "transport poverty", a new RAC study suggests.
The RAC Foundation poll shows that in 2012 the least well-off car owners had a top weekly expenditure of £167 - of which £51.40 was spent on running a vehicle.
These households spent at 31% of their disposable incomes on buying and running a car in the same year, up from 27% in 2011.
The car spending included an average £16.40 weekly costs for fuel, £6.10 for repairs and servicing and £9.50 on insurance.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Even though there has been some relief at the pumps in recent months and reported falls in insurance prices, it will have done little to ease the burden on those already struggling to make ends meet."
While record numbers of workers now commute by car, the survey shows that the cost of transport is a big hurdle to taking up employment. More than half of employees in the poorest areas of the UK drive to work, and there is little opportunity to cut their motoring costs further.
Prof Glaister added: "Before tax we have some of the cheapest petrol and diesel prices in Europe but when you add in fuel duty and VAT the picture changes dramatically.
"The Chancellor rightly points out that he has frozen fuel duty since March 2011 yet almost 60% of the pump price still goes into his pocket."
The figures were based on data obtained from the Office of National Statistics.
Copyright Press Association 2014