Despite a jump in motor insurance premiums, the cost of running a family car has decreased.
The AA has found that it now costs €10,571 to run a family car, a €75 decrease on the previous year.
This means the average motorist is now €6.26 better off each month compared to last year.
The decrease has occurred despite a sharp increase in insurance premiums — 8.5% on average to July, compared to the same period last year.
Offsetting the insurance hike was a 3% fall in new car prices on the previous 12 months.
“Insurance is the big story this year,” said AA consumer affairs director Conor Faughnan.
He said motorists should shop around for the best value for money.
“While premiums are up across the board some providers have hiked their prices more than others,” said Mr Faughnan.
“Some insurers had well-documented problems last year and we know that there were more accidents; the sad road safety data tells us that.”
Deflation also contributed to the slight reduction in the cost of running a car.
The Consumer Price Index shows that there was a 2% drop in the price of transport-related goods. Tyres, servicing, repairs, and parking also cost less.
The AA calculates the annual cost of motoring each year using an all-encompassing figure that includes a wide range of costs on top of obvious items such as fuel, insurance, and services.
Factored in is depreciation, interest, and replacement for tyres and other parts over the car’s life.
The figure assumes a motorist who buys a new car retains it for eight years at an average annual mileage of 16,000kms.
One factor that has had a minimal effect on the cost of motoring over the past year is fuel prices.
“Following a relatively flat year in terms of pump prices, we found ourselves inputting virtually the same average petrol price into this year’s review,” said Mr Faughnan.
According to the AA, the average price of a litre of unleaded petrol in July 2014 was €1.574 compared to €1.576 in July 2013.
Diesel has seen a slight drop during the same period of just 0.7 cent per litre, and cost an average of €1.476 per litre this July.
Mr Faughnan said it was the first fuel price decrease for a few years, even if it was a small one. “It makes a nice change to be able to report that fuel prices haven’t driven up the annual cost of motoring this year,” he said.
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