Transport poverty 2016-1719 Mar 2018

The very poorest car-owning households have seen their expenditure on motoring jump by 37% in a year.

RAC Foundation analysis of previously unreleased data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that just over a million car-owning households in the lowest of the ONS’s ten income brackets (the poorest 10%) spent an average of £58.20 per week on motoring in 2016-17.

This amounts to about a quarter of the maximum weekly spend of £205 for households in this group.

The £58.20 compares with £42.50 spent weekly in the previous financial year, 2015-16.

Of the £58.20:

  • £20.40 went on purchasing a vehicle
  • £14.80 went on fuel
  • £7.60 went on insurance
  • £6.10 went on repairs and maintenance

Averaged across all ten of the disposable income brackets, motoring expenditure in car-owning households accounted for £99.50 in 2016-17, up 10% on the £90.60 figure for 2015-16.

The data was collected as part of the annual ONS Family Spending in the UK report.

This report showed that across all households in the UK – car owning and non-car owning alike – average weekly expenditure in 2016-17 was £554.20. Of this £79.70 (14%) went on transport of all kinds, the biggest single area of spending.

According to the ONS the number of households owning at least one car or van rose from 52% in 1970 to 79% in 2016-17.

The ONS also points to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that 2016 was a record year for both new and second-hand car purchases.