End of the road for free rides?

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Apr 21, 2022
Driver at the petrol pumps - IAM RoadSmart

Two thirds of drivers think it is socially acceptable to ask passengers to contribute to petrol costs, according to research commissioned by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart.

As fuel prices surge to an all-time high, 64% of the 1,000 drivers surveyed believe it is OK for designated drivers to ask passengers to stump up money at the pumps.

These findings come as the cost-of-living crisis deepens for households across the country, with average petrol prices rising by 12.6p per litre between February and March – the largest monthly rise since records began in 1990.

Unsurprisingly, young drivers are more likely to ask passengers to help foot fuel bills, with eight in 10 (82%) of drivers between the age 18-24 believing it is more acceptable. This compares to over half (58%) of over 65s, who are the least likely age group to split fuel costs.

“With the soaring cost of fuel, as well as so many other factors contributing to the cost-of-living squeeze, perhaps it comes as little surprise that so many drivers are open to asking passengers to contribute towards their petrol and diesel bills,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

Neil also offered a word of advice on how changing driving behaviours can help motorists feeling the financial squeeze: “A few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan journeys can make a substantial difference to our fuel consumption.

“Gentle acceleration, using the highest safe gear, keeping tyres well maintained and turning off the air-conditioning can all help keep fuel costs down while also improving road safety.

“These simple changes mean you will not only be saving money, but also potentially saving lives.”

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