High costs mean fewer miles, less maintenance
Insurance company Admiral has found motorists using their cars less and ignoring problems with their cars – including replacing tyres – due to rising motoring costs. Half of UK motorists say they have reduced the amount of driving they do due to the rising cost of fuel, while more than nine out of ten feel ripped off by the current price of petrol and diesel. These are some of the findings of new research by car insurance expert Admiral that illustrate how motoring costs are affecting many drivers.
Admiral commissioned YouGov to survey 2,500 drivers as part of the annual Admiral Survey of Motorists. The results reveal the impact fuel prices are having on motorists, with 92 per cent agreeing they feel ripped off by the current cost of fuel.
Sue Longthorn, Admiral managing director said: “With the average cost of a litre of unleaded at £1.36 and diesel at £1.41, our research shows the depth of feeling British motorists have about the high cost of fuel right now. And it seems high fuel costs are actually affecting how much they drive, with 51 per cent saying they’ve reduced the amount of driving they do.”
Admiral also asked motorists what percentage of the cost of fuel they believe is made up of duty and tax and what percentage of it they think would be a fair amount. On average, they believe 64 per cent of the cost is made up of fuel duty and VAT, however they think a fairer amount would be less than half that at 31 per cent. Actually fuel duty and VAT account for around 60 per cent of the total price of petrol and diesel.
But it isn’t just the cost of fuel that’s affecting driving habits; other expenses are having an impact too. 18 per cent said they have ignored a fault or problem with their car because of the cost of repairs. While 15 per cent said they have cut back or stopped servicing their car due to costs, and even more worrying, 8 per cent said they have ignored problems with their tyres due to the cost of replacing them.
Sue Longthorn continued: “It’s a concern that some motorists are willing to drive around with tyres not in the very best of condition. This could cause more serious problems long term and could even cause them to have an accident.”
Despite half of motorists admitting they have reduced the amount of driving they do because of the cost of fuel, they do not expect the rising cost of motoring will result in less traffic. Only 37 per cent said they agreed it would result in fewer vehicles on our roads, compared with 41 per cent who didn’t agree with this.