Drivers waste fortunes with focus on fuel economy when depreciation typically costs 3 times as much

April 23, 2014

Consumer research consistently reveals British motorists’ obsession with the cost of filling up with fuel despite the fact that a car that holds its value well delivers much bigger savings over time.

According to CAP Automotive's car ownership cost figures, the average cash value lost by the typical medium family car bought 3 years ago is £12,559 – and rising. The same cars, driven 12,000 miles a year will have only burned an average £4,000 of fuel. Research consistently sees motorists place fuel at the top of their list of concerns.

According to CAP’s free ‘Total Cost of Motoring’ calculator the total expenditure on fuel over 3 years for a typical medium family car ranges from around £1,600 for a super-efficient hybrid to around £5,700 for a performance coupe in the same ‘lower medium’ car sector. But depreciation in the same sector ranges from about £8,000 over 3 years for one car that delivers standard mpg to more than £23,000 for a car that boasts unbeatable fuel economy.

“Everyone assumes consumers are well informed these days because there are a lot of car information sources on the internet, but our research consistently shows that motorists have a lot to learn,” said Philip Nothard, CAP’s Retail & Consumer expert. “When motorists put expenditure on fuel at the top of their list of cost concerns, they simply get it wrong. The fact is that motorists are wasting millions of pounds every day by not looking at the bigger car ownership costs picture.”

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