THE average car owner in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole could face an annual rise of more than £250 in the cost of petrol as living costs mount, analysis suggests.

The AA said soaring prices, which have topped more than 200 pence per litre at some forecourts, have seen some motorists swap their fuel-powered cars for electric alternatives, while others on lower incomes have had to sell their cars entirely.

On average, the cost of a litre of petrol in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole stood at £1.86 over the four days to June 14, according to figures from, up 40 per cent from £1.33 over a week in early June last year.

Department for Transport figures show the average annual mileage of a car driver in the south west was 3,956 miles in 2018-19, the latest figures before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

At current prices in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, a driver travelling this distance would spend an average of £931 on filling up a petrol car over the year, up from £666 based on prices in June last year.

Diesel drivers doing the same mileage would see their costs rise by 33 per cent from £603 to £801.

Cost figures are based on the average fuel efficiency of petrol and diesel cars.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said a recent AA poll showed that 2 per cent of the poorest car owners will have to sell their vehicle and not replace it as a result.

Mr Cousens said: "Those drivers hit hardest by record petrol and diesel are in low-income households, young drivers trying to make a start in life and rural residents forced to drive much higher mileages than most.”

The RAC Foundation said people on lower incomes are hit hardest by price rises at the pumps as they are unable to switch to electric vehicles and often rely on their cars to get to work with no alternative.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut fuel duty again and aid those struggling to fuel their vehicles.

The Treasury said it has protected the 8 million most vulnerable households with £1,200 of direct payments this year.