UK households have been cutting their expenditure on road fuels, according to a new report published today by the Government’s Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In its report on Household Expenditure 2010-2012 ONS says the average household spent £23.70 per week on petrol, diesel and motor oils, and petrol and diesel represented 39% of the average household’s expenditure on transport per week.

Northern Ireland households spent a weekly average of £34.30 on petrol, diesel and motor oils with the next highest region, the south east of England spending £27.30 per week.

London had the lowest household spend of £16.80 per week with the next lowest regions being the north east of England and Scotland with £21.10 and £21.60 respectively.

The report says: “At 2012 prices, average weekly household expenditure fell from £526.40 in 2006 to £489 in 2012. There has been a notable decrease in spending on transport, from £87.10 per week in 2001/02 (adjusted to 2012 prices) to £64.10 in 2012. On this basis, the proportion of total expenditure allocated to transport has decreased from 17% to 13%.

“A significant factor is likely to be spending on petrol and diesel. The prices for both types of motor fuel have increased over recent years, and there is evidence that households have taken steps to reduce the amounts used. The 2011 Census showed that fewer people are driving to work, compared with 2001, and more were using public transport, while the National Travel Survey reported a fall in the number of journeys taken by private transport between the mid 1990s and 2012. Furthermore, fuel efficiency in car engines has improved, and there is evidence more people are using diesel engine vehicles in an effort to reduce spending.”