More bad news for families struggling with their household budgets has come in the form of reported increases in car repair costs - with the average mechanic now said to be charging £83 an hour for labour alone.
That represents a 3% increase over the last year, according to a survey of 4,250 garages by Warranty Direct.
And the amounts being charged by some garages could see many customers doing swift U-turns out of forecourts, after the study also showed up some eye-watering differences in the fees being charged.
While the lowest hourly rate in the survey was a relatively reasonable £58.46, the highest price was an astonishing £201 an hour.
Motoring drain on family budgets
Motorists have been warned by Warranty Direct's Duncan McClure Fisher that car ownership will continue to be "one of the biggest drains on people's wallets" as long as labour costs keep spiralling.
He said: "Things still aren't getting any easier for the beleaguered motorist.
"If they aren't being beaten over the head by fuel prices when their car is on the road, they are contending with spiralling labour costs when it's not."
The figures could force families to take yet more action to rein in their motoring costs as the recession continues to bite - although quite what to do in order to save the pennies may at first seem like a mystery.
Cheaper motoring advice
Several small things can be done such as learning how to find cheaper parking and altering driving techniques in order to cut petrol costs.
Motorists in Powys appear to be in the most favourable situation if their car does break down, as the survey found that is the cheapest region with an average hourly labour rate of £58.46.
Surrey is slightly ahead of London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Berkshire as the most expensive at £98.27 - while that unprecedented £201 an hour is being charged by an unnamed garage in Hertfordshire.
Meanwhile, the AA has warned that the number of illegal parking ticket rackets could increase as scammers switch their focus once cowboy clamping is outlawed on October 1.