A quarter of British motorists have struggled to afford the cost of driving at some point in the past month, according to research published this month. A poll of 2,000 drivers by price comparison site ConpareTheMarket.com found 25 percent had found it difficult to pay for motoring as costs continue to rise.

The study also revealed a third (33 percent) of drivers are worried that they will find it tough to meet the cost of driving in the coming weeks. In particular, drivers appear to be most concerned about fuel prices, with 84 percent saying they have spent more on fuel in the past six months, while 29 percent said they were spending more on insurance.

As a result, CompareTheMarket.com says 32 percent of drivers have struggled to pay for fuel, while 11 percent have found it difficult to pay their insurance premiums.

Car insurance internet site viewing on laptop

Separate research from CompareTheMarket.com shows the average annual cost of driving a petrol-powered car during the first three months of 2022 was £313 higher than in the same period last year. The company says the increase, which has seen the average cost hit £1,843, is mainly driven by rising fuel costs and insurance premiums.

The research found the average cost of petrol for UK drivers has now hit £943 — up £221 on the previous year. Similarly, insurance premiums have risen by an average of £82 compared with 2021, partly due to the rising value of second-hand cars and the increased cost of spare parts.

With that in mind, CompareTheMarket.com found six in 10 drivers (60 percent) now think driving has become too expensive for most people to afford, while 40 percent say they don’t earn enough to cover the higher costs. For those aged 25-34, that increases to 55 percent.

Woman filling her car at a petrol station

“As the cost of driving increases, it is becoming difficult for many drivers to stay on the road, said Alex Hasty, director of CompareTheMarket.com. “Lots of people who do not live in a major city rely on their cars to get around. However, the high fuel costs are now forcing drivers to make fewer journeys, and some are needing to cut back on seeing friends and family. It is concerning that a number of people expect to go into debt to keep driving.

"There are a few ways motorists could save money to help offset the higher costs. Driving smoothly and removing heavy items from your car can help your vehicle use less fuel. Making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure not only improves the safety of your car, but it can also cut petrol costs, as well as help your tyres last longer. Motorists could also save more than £100 by switching to a cheaper insurance policy ahead of their renewal.”