Hastings Direct

Survey reveals rising petrol prices will push 1 in 5 drivers off the road.

30th January 2012

1 in 3 to Consider Hybrid or Electric as Next Car

  • 78% reveal rising cost of motoring has affected how often they drive.
  • 1% has already given up their car to cut household bills.
  • 1 in 5 will give up car completely if petrol hits £2 per litre.
  • 31% will consider purchasing a hybrid or electric for their next car
  • 7% have already cut over 100 motoring miles a week.

An independent survey amongst over 1,000 motorists carried out by car insurance provider Hastings Direct has revealed the extent to which motorists are changing their driving habits due to the rising cost of motoring.

At the turn of the century petrol prices were about 77p per litre — they have nearly doubled in just 11 years and the trend is set to continue. The Hastings Direct survey asked motorists what they would do at key future price points for petrol.

One in five drivers will give up their car completely if petrol hits £2 per litre, whilst more than one in ten (12%) will buy a hybrid or electric car at this price point.

67% of drivers currently use their car mainly for social use. When asked at what petrol price point drivers would stop using their car socially — over one in three (35%) will at £1.50 per litre, one in five (20%) at £1.60 and at £1.70, 18%.

The rising cost of motoring has already impacted drivers significantly in the last 12 months. Over three quarters (78%) say that the rising costs have affected how frequently they drive including one percent who has given up their cars completely.

Nearly three quarters (74%) have generally cut down on using the car — nearly half (49%) have cut back at least 25 miles each week, nearly a third (32%) by 50 miles per week and over 7% by in excess of 100 miles a week. The drivers revealed that they now use their car less in the following situations:

  • 49% less to go out
  • 35% less to visit family and friends
  • 14% less to commute
  • 10% less to do the school run.

When asked how likely their next car was to be a hybrid or electric car nearly one in three (31%) said it would — 6% of whom will definitely buy an alternative powered car.

Tobias van der Meer, managing director, Hastings Direct: "Our survey clearly shows the pressure motorists are feeling on their finances. We know from our customers how keen they are to for us to offer a competitive premium and we have sold nearly a million policies in the last year. Taking the right actions — reducing mileage and driving safely — can help motorists cut the cost of their insurance and their fuel bills, but ultimately motorists cannot and will not keep be able to keep on paying higher and higher petrol prices."

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