Cars cost Londoners almost £20 per hour


Owning a car in the capital costs nearly £3,436 per year on top of the cost of purchasing it new research suggests, working out at £20 per hour of use.

According to a study from Zipcar, a leading car sharing company, the average Londoner spends just 182 hours in their car annually, at a cost of £18.88 per hour in total.

Compared to this, a public transport commuter on an average pays £1,508 for their annual Zone 1-3 London Travel card, which works out to less than £5 per day.

Mark Walker, General Manager, Zipcar UK said: ‘For most Londoners, their daily routine transport needs are met by public transport, cycling and walking. If more people were to do the sums for themselves and realise how much their car trips cost them on an actual usage by-the-hour basis, they would be shocked.’

Zipcar published the results of an international survey of 1,800 drivers living within ten miles of the centre of four major European cities, including London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, and driving cars valued up to £15,000.

This includes typical car costs such as road tax, maintenance, insurance, petrol and parking, as well as taking into account depreciation over the year.

This means that driving in the capital is officially more expensive per hour than:

  • A Friday night stay at the Ritz London in Mayfair – about £15.24 per hour
  • A return flight from London to Sydney – about £14.42 per hour
  • A seat in the Grand Circle to see a West End musical – about £18.60 per hour
  • Driving in all of the other cities included in the research; Paris (£18.55 per hour), Barcelona (£11.64 per hour) and Madrid (£12.13 per hour).

Convenience and flexibility topped the reasons Londoners choose to drive their own car. The cost of public transport was also among the top three reasons for car ownership.

How does London compare to Birmingham and Manchester public transport costs?

  • London Travelcard zone 1 to 4 - £12
  • Manchester bus+train+tram - £8:70
  • Birmingham day pass for bus - £4:30
  • Birmingham return train ticket - £8:00



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