Fuel costs the top financial concern for Irish drivers

Irish motorists are facing increasing financial pressures with almost seven out of 10 drivers citing fuel costs as their top financial concern when it comes to running a car, according to the latest report from car buying expert Carzone.

The annual report, which examines trends in the Irish motoring industry, finds that a third (33%) spend between €201 – €300 per month on running costs and 23 per cent spend upwards of €300 per month to keep their vehicle on the road.

The Carzone report is compiled by analysing data from the more than 10 million searches carried out on Carzone from January to February of this year, as well as in-depth research carried out by 3Gem with 1,000 Irish motorists.

Unsurprisingly, fuel cost is the top financial concern when it comes to running a car for 69 per cent of Irish car owners. The cost is front of mind for many, 40 per cent say they always check the price of fuel before filling their tank and 41 per cent sometimes check.

The high cost of fuel also means motorists are considering other modes of transport, with almost half of those surveyed (45%) using public transport more often.

Insurance remains one of the top financial concerns for 65 per cent of motorists – and it seems to be on the rise, with insurance premiums increasing for one in three motorists (36%) this year.

However, savings-savvy car owners are keen to secure the best deal possible, with 78 per cent saying they shopped around for a more competitive quote before buying insurance.

When it comes to their next car purchase, almost half of Irish motorists say that fuel type is now the most important factor when considering their next model.

Increasing costs are already impacting the choice of vehicle for many motorists, with 18 per cent admitting they chose to buy a smaller car to save on running costs (fuel, tax, insurance). A further 33 per cent said they have already downsized, or plan to downsize the number of cars in their household to cut back costs.

The Carzone report also finds that 35 per cent of Irish motorists plan to purchase an electric or hybrid model as their next car, with cheaper running costs and environmental benefits the main reasons.

However, the Government’s recent decision to decrease private vehicle grant for EVs from €5,000 to €3,500 effective from 1st July may prompt motorists to expedite their plans of transitioning to an electric vehicle.