Rising costs reduces the amount people drive – report

More than one in three car owners have cut back on driving to save money as the cost of motoring increases, according to new research from insurance market analysts Consumer Intelligence.

It says a combination of car insurance increases, rising petrol prices and road tax increases is putting the squeeze on car owners with 34% saying they have already cut back on driving. In London more than two out of five (42%) have cut back.

The company’s Car Insurance Index shows average premiums are rising at 9.3% a year with the likelihood of more increases to come while petrol prices are at their highest level since December 2014 and new Vehicle Excise Duty rules come into effect in April increasing costs for more expensive cars.

The nationwide research suggests more than two out of five (43%) of car owners are concerned about the rising cost of motoring with 17% saying they are very concerned. More than half (52%) of those aged 25 to 34 are concerned about the rising cost with 24% very concerned.

But most drivers are keen to stay on the road no matter what happens to the cost of motoring – just 11% of car owners say they would consider giving up if the cost of motoring rose by £500 a year while a £1,000 rise would deter only 29%.

However in London owners are more likely to give up their cars if the cost of motoring accelerates – 23% of Londoners will stop driving if they have to pay £500 a year more rising to nearly half (48%) if the cost of motoring increases by £1,000.

Car sharing clubs to save money are not popular despite the financial squeeze – just one in 20 would let others borrow their car through a car sharing club while only 7% would consider giving up their car and joining a car sharing club.

However in London there is some support for car sharing – 19% of Londoners would consider either letting others share their cars or borrowing from a car sharing club.

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