Households spend the most on transport

Households are spending the lion’s share of their weekly budget on transport, according to figures released in the latest Family Spending report.

The report revealed that average weekly spending on transport increased by 6% in 2014, from £70.60 in 2013 (adjusted to 2014 prices) to £74.80.

This comes from an overall average weekly spend of £531.30, a £24 increase on the total in 2012, when spending averaged £507.40 per week – the lowest since current recording methods began.

Total household expenditure, UK, 2001/02 to 2014

The breakdown of spending on transport

Vehicle purchases (£24.80) made up one-third of the average spend on transport. On average more was spent on second hand cars and vans (£14.60) than new (£9.20). This is because more cars and vans are bought second hand than new.

Spending on transport included £22.90 on motor fuels, broken down into £14.90 per week on petrol and £8.00 on diesel. Spending on air fares averaged £6.10 per week, rail fares £3.60, and bus fares £1.50.

The increase in spending can partly be attributed to an increase in purchases of new cars. It coincided with the increased rate of economic growth, when households had more disposable income, allowing them to spend more on discretionary items.

What else have families been spending their money on?

Use our interactive treemap to delve through the details
Household expenditure UK 2014

An increase in leisure spending on and culture could be a sign of recovery
One type of spending that might be considered to be discretionary is recreation and culture, which saw a 6.8% rise in spending, from £64.40 in 2013 to £68.80 in 2014. There has been an upward trend in spending on recreation and culture, from £54.20 in the survey year ending March 2002 (adjusted to 2014 prices).

Recreation and culture covers a wide variety of goods and services, and included the following average weekly spends in 2014:
• sports admissions, subscriptions, leisure class fees and equipment hire (£6.90)
• cinema, theatre and museums etc (£2.80)
• TV subscriptions and licences (£6.70)
• pets and pet food (£4.30)
• games, toys and hobbies (£2.40)
• personal computers, printer and calculators (£2.80)
• plants, flowers, seeds, fertiliser and insecticides (£2.60)

Compare the spending

An at-a-glance look at spending in categories

Household expenditure, UK, 2014