May 032012

Pump Prices Hit an all time High

New figures from the AA, which reveal that UK families are now spending more on petrol than their weekly food shopping, could help to point more towards the green car revolution. Pump prices hit an all-time high this week, with diesel settling at around 147.88p a litre and petrol hovering around 142.48p.

New Kia Picanto 2012 - 68MPG Combined - Very Economical Car

New Kia Picanto 2012 - 68MPG Combined - Very Economical Car

Average Weekly Shop

So while the average weekly shop for a family in the UK currently stands at £70.10, it costs £71.24 to fill up a 50-litre car, according to the AA report. In addition, those families with two cars – a very common occurrence – now have to shell out £22 more each week than they did at the beginning of 2011.

New Car C02 Report

Going hand-in-hand with the high fuel prices is the mission by both the world’s governments and the auto industry to find new ways of powering vehicles. Taking the good news and the bad together, the gloom associated with the high petrol prices can perhaps be remedied with the positive news this week coming in the form of the Society of MotorManufacturers and Traders annual New Car CO2 report.

More Fuel-Efficient Cars

The report finds that new cars are now rolling off the production line more environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient than ever before. For the cost-conscious consumer, this also means a brand new spanker will be way more cost-effective than the old gas-guzzling banger in the garage, at least in the long run.

Huge Savings with New Cars

Huge savings on fuel can be made after investing in a new car, even if it isn’t an electric vehicle or a hybrid. In fact, the survey found that the average car in Britain today is 18 per cent less fuel efficient than its hot-off-the-press counterpart.

Economical and Green

As well as increased fuel-efficiency, which makes our pockets healthier, the report also found that new cars are giving off less CO2 emissions, which makes our planet healthier as well. According to the Society, the average car sold in 2000 emits 23 per cent more carbon emissions than those that were registered in 2011.

Diesels Account for Half New Registrations

But clearly car consumers in the UK are not driven solely by money and concern for the planet. Although electric cars are the cheapest and greenest to run, they only made up a tiny portion of the market last year (1.3 per cent). What really puts this into perspective, however, is that this laughable market share is actually a record for electric vehicles. Instead, motorists are still opting for the most costly cars to run, with diesel vehicles making up half of the new registrations in the UK last year.

Electric and Diesel Running Costs

The economical sense of investing in an electric car is undeniable, even if they are more expensive at the off. According to a SMMT report last year, it would cost just £881 for an average-sized electric car to cover a distance of 30,000 in three years. This minimal figure compares to a whopping £3,374 for a similarly-sized diesel vehicle under the same circumstances.

Savings on Congestion Charges

In addition, extra savings can be made from free or subsidised parking, and those living in the capital can save as much as £2,278 a year on congestion charge fees. Clearly, therefore, this issue is not all about money, but we’re left wondering what must be done for consumers to see the real worth of green cars?

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