The cost of driving in 2011

Those of us who love driving, and even those who don’t but use their cars simply out of necessity, are really feeling the pain at the moment in the UK.  We seem to be paying more for almost every aspect of driving and there’s little that we can do about it.

Average cost of fuel per year = £2,500. When the author started driving in 2000, unleaded petrol cost 75.6p per litre in southern England.  Now it is getting on for double that.  The last time I filled up it was 136.9p, up 13 pence per litre on April last year.  The rise in petrol prices seems to be on a fairly steady upwards trajectory, with no sign of slowing any time soon.

Average cost of insurance = £892 (fully comp). Despite being relatively stable for some years, the cost of car insurance has suddenly shot up.  Whilst this has been blamed on the no win no fee culture by some, the situation is really far more complex than car accident claims.  For example, the rise in female drivers’ premiums is mostly down to the new European legislation that states there can be no sex discrimination when it comes to assessing risk and pricing premiums.

Male motorists all over the country are probably feeling slightly smug this week, as the European Court of Justice has decreed that disparity in the price of car insurance premiums is unfair.

The fact that women pay less for their car insurance than their hairier equivalents is one of those things that has just become accepted in recent times and we’ve had companies like Diamond and Sheila’s Wheels doing good business out of this anomaly.

car insurance equalityCar insurance equality 

We all know, traditionally, why this has been the case.

Statistically speaking, men have more road accidents than women. That cannot be denied. When things do go wrong, the crashes in which women are involved tend to be low-speed knocks and parking misjudgments. When men have a crash, they tend to do it in style.

However the ECJ evidently thinks that that is no reason to apply broad-brush differentiation between male and female drivers. Now, a driver’s sex should not be the most prominent criterion when insurers are assessing who is more likely to be knocking on their door to tell them they’ve just decimated a small village.

Audi continues to expand its vehicle range filling every possible niche in the market. After the recent debut of the A6 Avant, today, the Ingolstadt-based automaker revealed the convertible version of its hardcore R8 GT coupe, which was launched as a limited edition model in 2010 with only 333 cars being produced. The new R8 GT Spyder follows the same recipe featuring a more powerful V10 engine and a lighter body.