While low cost car leasing and contract hire deals have made driving a new car affordable over recent months, the other costs of motoring continue to rise. Insurance, congestion charges, toll roads and high petrol and diesel costs have put pressure on many drivers and a new study has found that you don’t even need to be moving in order to spend money in your car.
Research from a leading traffic information firm has analysed the direct and indirect costs of traffic congestion in the UK and has found that the average driver spends almost £150 per year sitting in traffic. Keep reading to find out more…
Drivers spend almost £150 a year sitting in traffic
A new study by traffic information firm Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has calculated the cost of congestion to British road users. The research analysed queues in the UK’s 18 biggest urban areas, including Newcastle, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Birmingham.
The study revealed that UK motorists spend 40 hours a year crawling bumper-to-bumper. This means that while stationary, drivers waste £441 million on wasted fuel, £2.79 billion on lost productivity and £1.19 billion on indirect costs to the family.
The CEBR research also found that motorists also fork out additional money due to the damage incurred from wear and tear to idling engines.
With 30 million drivers in the UK, the average cost incurred per driver is just shy of £150 – £146.60 to be exact – which is a significant chunk of household income with two parents and two teenage drivers.
Next, we look at three simple ways to avoid traffic.
3 easy ways to avoid traffic jams
Travel at a different time
One way to avoid traffic jams is to try travelling at a different time. Most traffic jams occur during rush hour traffic and so it can pay to travel at a less busy time if possible.
Many jobs now offer flexible working hours, so that you can travel to work outside of rush hour. And, increasing numbers of people are now working from home to avoid the commute altogether.
Use your sat-nav
If you’re driving a new car on a car lease or contract hire agreement you will probably have some sort of satellite navigation system. If you don’t, most portable sat navs and even smartphones now offer mapping technology.
Most of these systems include real time traffic reports which will warn you of congestion on your journey. The best systems have live traffic information sent to your device. At worst this will recalculate your arrival time and let you know what your delay will be. At best the system will recalculate your route for you and give you a new, faster route.
Use your car radio
Most modern cars let you program your radio to receive traffic updates. Your car will probably have a system that is enabled with RDS, a radio data system that lets you know if the radio station you are tuned into has traffic bulletins.
Some even interrupt your listening so you can hear the traffic announcements. By doing this you can keep up to date with the latest traffic information and change your journey at a moment’s notice.