Cost of living: UK motorists altering driving style amid rising bills crisis

A significant number of drivers have changed their driving habits in order to save money during the cost of living crisis, a new survey has highlighted.

Conducted by Kia, the study of 1,200 UK drivers found that 37 per cent are now using their car less for short urban journeys while 37 per cent have switched to walking or cycling ‘where possible’.

One third of those spoken to also pay more attention to where they refuel or recharge their car in order to do so more affordably. In addition, 28 per cent of drivers are making more of an effort to plan out their journey to save fuel.

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When it comes to being behind the wheel, 31 per cent say that they are more mindful about their driving style to help increase efficiency, using less throttle and maintaining a lower speed than usual. A much higher proportion of younger drivers have changed their style in this way too, with 54 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds adapting how they drive compared with 26 per cent for those aged between 55 and 64.

Rising fuel and repairs bills are forcing motorists to change how they driveRising fuel and repairs bills are forcing motorists to change how they drive
Rising fuel and repairs bills are forcing motorists to change how they drive

Twenty-five per cent of respondents said that they had cut back on car journeys to see family and friends, with this trend highest among Londoners. Those living in Northern Ireland, meanwhile, are the least likely to say that they have reduced this type of car journey.

Overall, 19 per cent of those surveyed said that they had cut back on non-essential item spending so that they can continue to use their cars as normal. However, this varies extensively between the UK’s regions, with 33 per cent of Londoners saying that they have made cutbacks, compared with 20 per cent of Scots and just 10 per cent of those living in the West Midlands.

Of those with a petrol or diesel car, 52 per cent said that they were now either ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to make the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle when they next change their car, with Londoners being the keenest to make the switch. Those located in the East Midlands were the least enthusiastic, however.



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