People drive less as petrol prices go up, which isn't surprising

22 June 2011

car2It has been reported that roughly a third of drivers have cut down on the number of journeys they make in the car because of the daft cost of motoring. That's according to the RAC who are saying that the money needed to run a car was now the driving person's number one concern.

The survey also states that of the drivers polled, those that live in rural areas where the ones being given the toughest time as often, public transport isn't a sensible alternative.

With unleaded petrol averaging £1.37 a litre and diesel around £1.42, drivers are now weighing up which of their journeys are 'luxuries' and not bothering. One common theme is that parents are now thinking that they can't justify driving their children to school activities and the like, which is just great. Families are also noting that they can no longer transport elderly relatives as much as they'd like. This is problematic if you're trying to be looked upon favourably in the will.

"People's ability to live their lives and do the most basic of tasks, such as visit family and take their children to after-school activities, is being threatened - and it looks like it's only going to get worse," said the RAC's motoring strategist, Adrian Tink.

"UK drivers want action from the government. They already pay the highest duty and tax on fuel in Europe. At the very least, we are calling for fuel duty to be frozen and scheduled inflationary rises to be scrapped."

In other views, 70% of drivers surveyed said that they'd like the speed limit on motorways raised to 80mph or more, which is never, ever going to happen is it?

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • dacouch
    I have recently started driving my works luton van at 55mph on the motorway instead of the 70 - 75mph I did before. It saves my boss nearly 50% in diesel on motorway journeys and I'm doing my bit for the environment. Try doing 55mph on the motorway, it's not as stressful as being in lane 2 and 3, will save you a fortune and does not add that much to your journey time.
  • Paul
    I read somewhere that 3/4 throttle (press the 'go' pedal most but not all of the way down) provides 90% of the power but saves 30-50% fuel over just planting your foot on it. So you take an extra second or 2 to hit your desired speed, but save a lot in the long run. Also, to collaborate dacouch above, on *average* 60mph is pretty (relatively) efficient whereas you loose around 10% efficiency per 5-10 mph over 60. Obviously varies from car to car (or van).
  • Chris
    Just recently our local council has announced it will be cancelling bus services after 6pm on the main route between our two closest cities so for many who work there, they'll soon have no choice but to drive.
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    Filling stations scam drivers, if the government took a penny off duty it would come off for about a day.
  • Jay h.
    I have recently sold my entire fleet of high performance motor vehicles and replaced them with horses, donkey's and mules to do my bit for lowering pollution levels, however, my music's still bloody awful so the amount of sound pollution is still very high.
  • Alexis
    I wonder if the government would actually make more money from increased sales if they slashed duty by a third? If they brought it in for 6 months and just told people they'll put it back to how it was if they don't make more profit I'm sure it would be a great success. Think of the boost to car sales.
  • zzz z.
    Save energy, stay in bed.
  • Michael
    Petrol is an inelastic good (in terms of demand). Therefore if the government want to increase revenue they actually need to raise the price, not lower it. Hence, they will not reduce the various taxes on petrol.
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    Do people seriously believe that if duty was cut it would be passed on in full by the petrol stations?
  • dvdj
    @Paul Wait so you're telling me that if you want to accelerate you planet your foot to the floor as far as it will go? How strange and pointless. Gradual smooth accelerate. Can't remember the last time I have my foot pinned as it does nothing. And I drive a hot hatch and hardly pootle about.
  • Dick
    People that live in the countryside should stay in the countryside, or they should move into town. I'm fed up with hearing the arguments that they are being hit the hardest as they need to use the car to get about, and that they should get more public transport or cheaper petrol. You choose to live miles from anywhere, you have to pay more to get to somewhere. Public transport in urban areas works because there is enough people wanting to use (and pay) for it, so the company offering it can make money. Why should people that want to live in the countryside, where there are fewer users, get public transport subsidised or get cheaper petrol?
  • dicking d.
    Oh Dick, you're such a troll. Come over here and I'll give you a big hug, come on.
  • Dick
    I'll get in my car ....
  • Whisky
    @dvdj If you have an old fashioned style carburettor then I would agree but in today's world of injectors and computers the pedal acts as a power button, the further you press it the more it signals the computer to get a shift on. That said getting 90% power saving while 30-50% fuel is utter shite. The way to save fuel is to stop using the brakes. Your doing 60mph and are coming up to a round about, take your foot off the throttle very early so you are only doing 20ish by the time you hit the roundabout, will save you a good 15% on fuel. That said still brake like fook in emergency situations.
  • Ed
    "the money needed to run a car was now the driving person’s number one concern" The money needed to pay for crack is a crack addict's number one concern. "At the very least, we are calling for fuel duty to be frozen and scheduled inflationary rises to be scrapped." That is, for fuel duty to go down (in real terms), thanks to our sky-high inflation. In other news, the National Association of Turkeys has voted almost unanimously against Christmas in a ballot of their members.
  • Ed
    Alexis: I was under the impression that fuel duty wasn't (just) there to make money, but to also discourage car use for environmental and congestion reasons. Slashing the duty, shouting "DRIVE, MY HAWKMEN" and watching the money roll in would be rather counterproductive on that front. Unless the extra income (should it materialise) over the six months were used to fund a fully integrated and free at the point of service public transport network for the entire country. But not even an insane left-wing politician would try that these days, let alone the insane right-wing lot we've got at the moment.
  • Tiny S.
    "I was under the impression that fuel duty wasn’t (just) there to make money, but to also discourage car use for environmental and congestion reasons." Yes, in exactly the same way as they keep increasing tobacco duty to discourage us smokers. Yet! if every single smoker gave up today the Government and the NHS would be bust by next Thursday. What the government tells us a duty/tax is for and what it is actually for are two very different things
  • Jim
    Buy a 5 year old diesel. Go to your local chip shop and buy their used oil. They'll probablly give it to you as they have to pay to have it taken away. Filter it at home. Stick it in your car. Free fuel. It may smell a bit and power output is not great and you'll have to replace fuel filters more often but what you'll save will be worth it. If you cant be bothered. You cant be bothered. Keep buying your fuel till your broke.

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