Motor Insurance

Average Cost of Petrol for a Car 2024

With fuel prices up again, motorists are on track to spend well over £1,000 on petrol or diesel per car this year. See how much gas a typical petrol or diesel car guzzles each year and find out what you'll spend depending on your average mileage and the fuel efficiency of your own car.

Car Insurance

Quickly compare 100+ UK insurance providers. You could save up to £504.*

{"applyCallToAction":"Get Quotes","defaultSelectedItem":"car","description":"Quickly compare 100+ UK insurance providers. You could save up to \u00a3504.*","formType":"Insurance","onCurrent":true,"options":[{"label":"Car Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/car-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"car"},{"label":"Home Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/home-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"home"},{"label":"Motorbike Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/bike-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"motorbike"},{"label":"Pet Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/pet-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"pet"},{"label":"Travel Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/travel-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"travel"}],"title":"Car Insurance"}

Fuel is one of the biggest costs of car ownership next to the cost of car insurance, consuming a significant portion of the typical household budget. See how much motorists really spend at the pump each year.

Set a reminder to compare car insurance
before next renewal

My (approximate) car insurance renewal date is: /

Set a reminder to compare
car insurance before next renewal

My (approximate) car insurance renewal date is: /

Average Cost of Petrol per Litre

Heading into 2024, the average cost of motor fuel was £1.48 per litre for ultra low sulphur unleaded petrol and £1.56 per litre for ultra low sulphur diesel. Prices rose into October, but actually fell in November, much to the relief of motorists across the country. Petrol in particular has dropped recently—around 4% in November alone.

Compared to a year ago, everyone is paying less now. Owners of petrol cars paid 8% less at the pump in the end of November 2023 than they did a year earlier; diesel prices were down 15.8% over the same time period.

chart showing the average cost of petrol and diesel per litre in the UK
Motorists continue to pay more at the pump

How Much do Motorists Really Spend on Fuel?

Motorists spend an average of £1,225 a year to fuel a petrol and £1,572 for a diesel, for cars with average fuel economy. While diesel costs less money to buy and diesel cars get better gas mileage, diesel drivers tend to accumulate more miles on their cars each year—petrol cars rack up around 6,300 miles a year while diesel cars drive 9,400 miles each year, contributing to higher overall annual fuel costs for the typical diesel car. The annual fuel cost figures below reflect these different mileage numbers.

Average Cost of Car FuelPetrolDiesel
Average distance travelled per year per car6,300 miles9,400 miles
Average car fuel efficiency36 mpg43 mpg
Motor fuel used per year175 gallons219 gallons
Cost of fuel per litre147.99246 p/litre156.183276 p/litre
Cost of fuel per gallon£6.72/gallon£7.1/gallon
Average annual cost of fuel for a car£1,176£1,552

*Note: we used average annual mileage figures from 2019, because the 2020 figures were abnormally low due to pandemic-related lockdowns and more recent annual mileage data isn't yet available. We used fuel prices from 27 November 2023.

chart showing the cost of petrol and diesel for UK cars
Motorists spend well over £1,000 a year just on motor fuel

Annual Cost of Motor Fuel per 1,000 Miles

The amount you spend at the pump each year depends on three factors: your annual mileage, the fuel efficiency of your car and the cost of fuel. Given average fuel efficiency of 36 mpg for a petrol and 43 mpg for a diesel and recent fuel prices (around 148 p/litre for petrol and 156 p/litre for diesel heading into December 2023), the typical petrol car consumes £187 of fuel for every 1,000 miles travelled; the diesel costs £165—that's 12% less for the diesel car! A few months ago, the 'diesel discount' had all but evaporated but it is now back.

How Much Does Fuel Cost to Drive 1,000 Miles?
chart showing the cost of petrol and diesel per 1,000 miles driven
Diesel drivers spend 12% less on fuel per 1,000 miles than petrol drivers

How much is petrol per mile?

On a per mile basis, the fuel costs in the range of 15p - 20p pence per mile for a petrol car; the fuel costs around 14p - 17p pence per mile for a diesel car. This is roughly 40% to 90% more expensive than the cost to run an electric car per mile—electric cars used to be a lot cheaper to fuel than petrol or diesel cars, but with the high electricity prices this difference has come down making electric cars still attractive, but less so.

And this varies by engine size. A car with a larger engine (higher CCs, larger horsepower) will burn more fuel and have worse fuel economy/a lower MPG. That means cars with more CCs cost more in fuel per mile.

Cost of Petrol per MileAverage MPGCost per mile
up to 1400 cc4615p
1401 to 2000 cc4216p
Over 2000 cc3420p
up to 1600 cc5014p
1601 to 2000 cc4615p
over 2000 cc4017p

If you're reading this because you're an employer or employee thinking about per-mile expense reimbursements for work journeys, please read more about this topic here.

Car insurance renewing soon? We can help you save £££.

Get cheap car insurance quotes now and save up to £504*

Get your quotes

Reminder to get fresh quotes before your cover auto renews.

Set reminder

Annual Cost of Motor Fuel by Mileage

Your fuel costs may be significantly lower or higher, however, depending on your typical average annual mileage. Below, we've calculated annual fuel costs for the average car for a range of mileages. For example, a typical car driving 5,000 miles a year costs around £933 in petrol while one driving 12,000 miles a year costs nearly £2,240 to fuel up.

Annual Cost of Motor Fuel by mileagePetrolDiesel
chart showing cost of car fuel depending on annual mileage

Annual Cost of Motor Fuel by Fuel Economy

The fuel efficiency of your car has a drastic impact on how much your car costs you each year to run. Cars with the best fuel economy (e.g., the Skoda Octavia which achieves around 67.3 mpg in the real world) cost a fraction of the price to run as a car with poor gas mileage (e.g., Land Rover Discovery or Mercedes S500 that get only around 26-27 mpg). For example, a motorist that clocks the average of 7,600 miles per year would pay £929 per year in petrol if their car achieves 55 mpg, while a car that guzzles 25 mpg costs their driver over £2,000 a year at the pump.

Annual Motor Fuel Costs by Fuel Efficiency (7,600 miles per year, petrol cost of 148p/l)
25 mpg£2,043
30 mpg£1,702
35 mpg£1,459
40 mpg£1,277
45 mpg£1,135
50 mpg£1,021
55 mpg£929
60 mpg£851
65 mpg£786
70 mpg£730
chart showing cost of car fuel depending on car fuel economy

Newer cars tend to have better gas mileage as technology improves. So if your car is on the older side and you're spending too much at the pump, a new car upgrade might actually save you some money in the long term. Finally, implementing tips to improve your car's fuel efficiency can reduce your overall motor fuel bills.

NEW! Car Fuel Cost Calculator

Want to figure out how much you're spending based on your mileage, car's MPG and your typical fuel cost? If you're not sure of your fuel costs, you can use current averages which are 1.48 for petrol and 1.56 for diesel per litre (early December 2023). Enter your data into the fuel cost calculator below then click the yellow lighting button below to get your result.

If you'd like some different functionality for the calculator, let us know in the comments section below!

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


Car Insurance

  • You could save up to £504*
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars**
  • Quotes from 100+ providers

Motor Insurance Reviews