UK motorists have collectively spent an extra £1 billion on fuel over the past 12 months due to rising oil prices, according to new research. An investigation by online used car marketplace CarGurus found drivers spent more than £3.4 billion on fuel in June 2022, up from £2.3 billion in the same month of 2021.

The company looked at the average cost of fuel in each month since June 2021, then calculated the cost per driver based on average mileage and average economy figures. The data showed the average driver was spending £69.03 on petrol in June last year, while the average diesel driver was spending £65.86 a month.

Fast-forward to June 2022, and those figures have jumped to £101.93 for petrol drivers and £99.45 for diesel drivers. As a result, motorists’ costs rose from £2.31 billion in June 2021, but that rose to £3.44 billion in June 2022.

Drivers filling up at Shell petrol station in Portsmouth UK

And that rise has been a long time coming. Month by month, the CarGurus data shows a trend of gradual increases, although there was a big jump in costs from May to June. In April and May 2022, total spend on fuel remained relatively steady at £2.98 billion, with the average cost per month standing at £86.91 for petrol drivers and £88.75 for diesel drivers.

In June, however, those figures jumped by around £15 for petrol car drivers and £11 for drivers of diesel vehicles, giving a total increase of £32.90 for petrol drivers and £33.59 for diesel drivers from June 2021 to June 2022.

Man at petrol station filling up

“Our research further underlines the financial impact the rising cost of petrol and diesel is having on the nation,” said CarGurus’ UK editor, Chris Knapman. “It is no surprise then that fuel economy is now ranked the most important consideration when buying a car.

“If drivers are in need of a new car, it’s clear choosing one of the most fuel-efficient models could save drivers hundreds of pounds per year at a time when it’s needed most.

“For those drivers sticking with their current car, there are still some simple steps you can take to help maximise fuel economy. These include removing unnecessary weight from the vehicle, anticipating what traffic ahead is doing so that you can accelerate and brake more gently, and knowing when it’s best to open a window versus use the car’s air conditioning.”