According to recent research carried out by Sainsburys Car Insurance, a massive 1.3 million drivers have been forced off the roads due to crippling motoring costs in the last year.
With the average cost per litre of petrol coming in at £1.36, there is no surprise that so many of us are being forced to stop driving or a least alter our driving habits to keep costs down.
Some drivers have admitted to driving more slowly in a bid to conserve fuel, while others have simply cut down on the number of journeys they make in their cars to save money.
And it doesn’t stop there, 7% of drivers have teamed up with colleagues or friends to car share in a bid to spread the load and 10% of drivers have resorted to swapping their gas guzzling cars for more cost effective, fuel efficient alternatives.
Police and traffic patrols have certainly noticed the difference too, reporting less congestion on our roads and motorists driving slower to save on fuel.
While the picture remains one of doom and gloom for so many drivers, environmental groups and campaigners might well be applauding motorists for their ‘greener’ behaviour. Despite the motives and reasons behind the changes in our driving habits, the environment can only benefit from fewer vehicles on the roads.
And rising motoring costs aren’t the only contributing factor to these changes. Rising gas and electricity bills have increased our living costs, not to mention the ever-increasing food prices at our supermarkets. It seems like people in the UK are being hit by rising costs from every angle, resulting in a frugal living culture and a ‘looking after the pennies’ mentality.
Motoring expert and president of the AA, Edmund King comment “The high price of fuel is having a dramatic effect and for the first time taking the train is becoming cheaper than driving. I think that more than a million actually giving up driving seems very high but more than that are cutting back on their use of a car. This in turn will have an effect on high street and supermarket sales.”
Think Insurance, the specialist motor trader insurance provider, were not surprised to learn that rising costs are forcing drivers to change their habits, but were shocked at the number of people reportedly being forced off the roads altogether. Garrath Hussey, Chief Executive at Think said, “Everyone is being hit hard by rising costs, and at Think Insurance, we are constantly striving to keep our costs down for our customers, especially those operating in the motoring trade. It is vital small businesses in the motoring industry stay afloat, and if we can help by offering low cost, quality cover, then all the better”.