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Susan Care

Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.

Higher fuel prices push UK drivers to the limit

With the current average cost of diesel set at 143.04p per litre and car insurance premiums on the rise, British drivers are crumbling under the weight of car-r

With the current average cost of diesel set at 143.04p per litre and car insurance premiums on the rise, British drivers are crumbling under the weight of car-related costs.

Over the last month, the average price of diesel has risen by 0.8p a litre, standing at a record 143.04p; according to data released by the motoring group AA. For British drivers, this represents an important increase if compared to the same figure for this time last year, when the average price of diesel was only 132.8p.

According to the AA, Northern Ireland has the highest average petrol prices (135.9p a litre) in the UK, while Northern England has the cheapest (134.2p a litre). Drivers in Northern Ireland are also subjected to the highest average diesel price (143.5p a litre), while the cheapest is found in Yorkshire and Humberside (142.3p).

Diesel, petrol… or car hire?

The diesel price hike is in line with a rise in diesel cars sales, revealed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). According to the SMMT, 2011 recorded 981,594 in diesel cars sales and 934,203 in sales for petrol models.

While diesel cars are certainly more economical in the long term for those drivers who make more than 15,000 miles a year, diesel cars are more expensive in the short term. Figures state that the current gap between the two types now stands at almost 8p a litre.

The increasing cost of car insurance premiums is another strain on drivers' motoring budgets. With motor insurance costs also making a yearly increase, the possibility of owning a car is dwindling for UK drivers.

Motorists who are feeling the squeeze of car-related bills may be considering trading their vehicle ownership for a rental agreement or the delights of public transport. Car hire insurance can be compared and purchased online.