£51 billion cost of driving

£51 billion a year - that's how much it costs Britain to keep motoring every year.

Tax, maintenance, parking and fuel cost each of us an average of £1777 a year, and 91% of drivers say that the cost of keeping a car has increased in the last 5 years.

And for a third, the cost of driving has risen by more then £400 every year, 74% say that having a car has forced them to budget more carefully elsewhere.

But motorists risk breaking the law in their attempts to reduce their bills, as a fifth of the 2123 motorists surveyed by Zurich Insurance admitted delaying or avoiding paying motoring costs like insurance, road tax and parking fines.

But while 22% say they delay paying for insurance, 3% admit to driving without any cover at all.

And another potential cost riling motorists is the proposed road charging scheme, which could see drivers paying up to £1.34 a mile in place of road tax and petrol duty in a bid to cut congestion.

More than three-quarters (77%) said that they were against the scheme, while 78% said they thought it was simply a way of generating more tax revenue for the Treasury.

However, few are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and ditch their cars completely - 73% say they couldn't live without their wheels, and only 7% say they would consider selling their car, even if the costs continued to rise.