Cars are an integral part of the modern families.UK continues to be at the top of the charts for being the most expensive place to own and drive a car. With the ever increasing cost of fuel, road tax, servicing, repairing and insurance, the car running costs of typical vehicle in the UK comes to about £3453 each year. This figure is £1000 more than that of the US, £1825 more than that in Australia and about £2000 more than the car running costs in China. To top it, the average annual road tax which every British motorist pays comes to £225 which is almost seven times to the motorists in Switzerland, Russian and Spain while the motorists in Italy, Germany and Netherlands do not pay anything towards road taxes. Cities around the world would all agree upon the fact that they could do with fewer cars on their roads so that the public space is rebalanced and there is less noise, less pollution and lesser stress amongst it’s inhabitants.
Typically it has been observed that car running costs begin at a comparatively lower level and increases as the age of the members of the household increases and reached it’s peak at the age of about 50, after which it shows a steady decline. Also, statistics reveal that there are more number of car owners as against a specific age in every generation than for previous generations.
Typically, most people have an idea about what the cities, towns and the countryside look like in the UK in terms of the kind of life they live. Also, whether living in the UK cities is more worthwhile than in the countryside is a much debated topic. The general perception is that the car running costs and the quality of life in the country side is much better than of the cities owing to the fact that there fresh air, sprawling empty spaces, natural surroundings, minimal traffic and crime and hence living and owning a car in the country side is much better an option than living the hard life of urban cities.
Below we have shortlisted a general comparison of the pros and cons of car running costs in the cities as against in the countryside in the UK.
- Cost of buying a new car
In the countryside, 79% of the journeys are made by car and only 2.22% made by public transport. As a result the demand of cars is much higher in these rural and sub urban areas as against the residents of the cities who are increasingly taking to public transport and bicycles. They refrain from getting stuck in traffic for long hours and stressing themselves out by driving and hence, cost of purchasing a car is more in the countryside.
- Number of cars each family owns
As expected, there are more car owners in the countryside than the urban area and on an average they have about 0.3 more cars than the residents of the UK cities. Rural life is more peaceful and friendlier. However, the residents of the countryside often find it cumbersome to commute to work or school and find it difficult to strike a balance in their social life if they do not own a car. Especially individuals aged between 15 and 24, who reside in the countryside in South West England found it extremely difficult to go to school, universities or even meet their friends. A considerable portion of the countryside has patchy coverage of public transport in the form of buses and railways located miles apart from residential. Often the closest supermarket, fuel stations, cash dispensers, doctor’s chamber, library and the local pubs are situated far apart as a result the dwellers have no choice rather than buying a car for every adult member of the family. Now this is a sharp comparison as against the families in the cities, especially London, Manchester and Birmingham where individuals are strategically refraining from using their personal cars to work and taking the public transport instead. Numerous city dwellers have resorted to use their bicycles to work and currently one by twentieth of the population in London itself use the eco friendly cycles to commute to work.
- Cost of fuel
Drivers of the UK country side on an average pay about 1.5% more than the ones in the urban areas. The highest average price of fuel was found to be in areas exhibiting sparse and less dense population such as country sides, villages and other isolated areas is 2.6p per litre more than the national average wherein it is 2.5p per litre more for petrol. Therefore for a typical family car, the dwellers of the countryside paid an average of £1.27 more to fill their fuel tank (of 15 gallon, 68 litre tank) as against their city counterparts.
- Cost of car insurance
It is a general belief that the cost of living in the cities is much higher as that in the countryside. This might be true is some cases however it has been observed that the certain country sides of Scotland is much expensive than numerous urban areas in Britain. Since there is minimal traffic on the roads and the chances of accidents or thefts happening are much lower, the cost of car insurance for similar vehicles in a rural area in Scotland could be around £200 while that in one of the busiest cities could be around £1500, thereby drastically affecting the car running costs in the city.
- Car running costs
According to a recent research, people residing in the countryside spent about £20 more towards the cost of their fuel as compared to the city dwellers. In fact, nine of the ten most expensive monthly fuel consumptions happen to all be the dwellers of the UK country sides. This is because the cost of commuting, clothing, food and household goods add immensely towards their overall fuel expenditures.
With the standard of living costing to approximately £14500 in the cities and a fleeting £18600 in the countryside, there is no doubt about the fact that car running costs in the countryside is definitely more expensive than the cities.