High petrol prices force motorists off the roads

3 June 2011

Half of UK motorists are driving less in response to the rising cost of petrol, according to a YouGov survey.

The research, commissioned by Admiral Insurance, also reveals that 92% of drivers feel "ripped off" by the current cost of fuel.

Sue Longthorn, managing director of Admiral, says these results show "the depth of feeling" UK motorists have about the high petrol prices. 

Cutting back

On top of drivers reducing how much they use their cars, a significant minority admit to cutting back on maintenance costs too.

Because of the cost of repairs, 18% have ignored a fault with their car and another 15% admit to either stopping or cutting back on getting their car serviced. Most alarmingly 8% of drivers are ignoring problems with their tyres.

"It's a concern that some motorists are willing to drive around with tyres not in the best condition. This could cause more serious problems long term and could even cause them to have an accident," says Longthorn.

Prices hit a record high in mid-May of 137.43p a litre, although they have dropped back slightly in recent weeks. The average UK petrol price is currently 135.83p per litre and 139.56p for diesel, according to petrolprices.com.

AA president Edmund King agrees that record prices are forcing motorists to think about their car use more carefully: "Record fuel prices have shaken up shopping patterns – people are beginning to factor in the fuel cost of driving to a large store to shop for basics. This has led to supermarkets trying to find ways to counter that disincentive with cut-price fuel or vouchers."

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