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Old 11-27-2013, 02:35 AM   #1
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Cost of motoring UK & US

UK the most expensive place to run a car!

Most of us who live here already know this, but to run a car in the UK costs the average motorist almost £3500 a year ($5700 US dollars) most of which, roughly £2500, is on fuel alone ($4080 US Dollars)

The average motorist in the US spends just £990 or $1600 on fuel, almost exactly two and half times less than those in the UK.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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We have similarly expensive gas too, compared to the US (most of Europe does, as a matter of fact) - at least the insurance is cheaper here in Hungary (like 118USD / £72 for a year for my little Yaris, and much less for the bikes).
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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It might be interesting to compare average distance traveled per year; average amount of fuel consumed per year; and the relative tax structures. I recall reading decades ago that the US taxes fuel as a necessity bearing in mind the lack of public transport and the long distances, while Europe taxes fuel and autos as luxuries bearing in mind shorter distances and better public transportation (usually subsidized by Government).
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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From memory, the average mileage in the UK is 8k a year, and 10k in the US, not sure about the rest of Europe. In the UK, around 70% of our fuel is tax and the high prices have forced manufactures to develop very economical cars, even large sedans get 60 to 70 MPG now.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:40 PM   #5
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When I looked, the average mileage for USA drivers was just over 12000 per year. I was less successful in finding the numbers for other countries.

Back in the 60s I was stationed in England; in the 70s in the Netherlands. Even then the price of fuel had makers designing cars for fuel economy. Even then the formula was the same: small displacement engines, manual gearboxes, and lightweight vehicles. Diesel engines usually burn less fuel, but are usually heavier and more expensive to purchase. Depending on fuel pricing they usually take a decade or so before the monetary break-even point.

Tax structure gets into the act, as governments sometimes tax Diesel fuel at a lower rate to reflect either the essential commercial use of heavy trucks or the political power of freight companies. In the USA fuel taxes are usually supposed to be used for road construction and maintenance, and the gradually increasing fuel mileage has caused less fuel consumption and thus less money for roads. Road users complain vociferously about bad roads, but complain even louder when it is proposed to raise fuel taxes to pay for repairs.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:59 AM   #6
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In the UK we pay not only 70% fuel tax, but also road tax, a carbon based tax that we pay once a year as a single payment. It's based on the car's C02 emissions, small efficient cars are free, then they go up to £20 a year, £30, £90 and at the other end of the scale are the gas guzzlers which can cost up to $1000 just for road tax! This is why American car's are unpopular here, not only do they have high fuel consumption, but the emissions are high too. But as we can see, all of this is used as a marketing tool for car manufactures more than anything else!
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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I'd be interested to see the test conditions under which "even large sedans get 60 to 70 MPG now." Even Toyota's hybrid Prius doesn't get numbers that high in real-world use.

Many decades ago there was an annual contest to show highest MPG. It required engines of minimum 200 cubic inch displacement, about 3.3 litres. Contestants usually inflated tires to about 100 psi and shaved the treads to about an inch wide. They accelerated to 20 mph at wide-open throttle, then shut off the engine and coasted down to about 5 mph.They restarted the engine and repeated until their allotted gallon of gas ran out. Under those conditions they sometimes reported as high as 200 MPG.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
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Well you have to remember our gallon is bigger, so take about 17% off those figures. We all know the figures they get in the tests are very optimistic, in theUK tests, they dont even go over 40 MPH! The best I got in my car was 82 MPG (small light diesel) the best in the government tests was 76 MPG, and in my current car, my best is 57 MPG on a short journey, the government test being 52 MPG. So these figures can be acheived, even exceeded if you try, but there's no need to go to extremes like you mentioned.

I really want to try a Fiat Punto 1.3 diesel, as in the gov tests it got 97 MPG. I think with some practice I could get over 100 MPG in one of those.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:09 AM   #9
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Draigflag, I find it interesting to note that your average mileage on both of your Fuelly reported vehicles is less than 30 mpg. While I never put it onto Fuelly, the average mileage on my old 1994 Pontiac Sunbird was just over 29 miles per US gallon. That car had a 2.0 liter gasoline engine; automatic transmission (3-speed w/torque converter lockup)and air conditioning. That mileage was averaged over more than 100,000 miles and ten years. I'd still be driving it had not some kind lady in a Prius rear-ended it.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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This is my point, its easy to acheive high MPG figures whilst applying careful driving techniques over short distances, but to keep it up every time you turn the key is impractical and almost impossible! As for my car, its not designed as an economy car, and I do a lot of short journeys during the week, hence the poor mileage. Having said that, I have noticed a trend in the UK recently, people are beggining to drive slower, limiting thier top speed to 40 to 50 MPH in desperate attempts to save fuel. It's a big worry for UK motorists.
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