More than one in three drivers have cut down on car journeys since beginning of the year as the cost of living crisis begins to bite, according to new research.
A study for Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, reveals that 35% of drivers have cut down on car journeys they describe as “non-essential”.
Those driving petrol or diesel cars are twice as likely to have cut down on these journeys compared to drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids (40% vs 22% respectively).
More than one in five drivers (21%) say they have consciously tried to drive more smoothly or less aggressively, with 14% say they have driven more slowly on all their journeys and 17% saying they have done so on some journeys.
In all, seven in 10 (69%) motorists have changed their behaviour since the beginning of 2022.
The Kwik Fit research also found that 17% of drivers of EVs or hybrids have swapped from a diesel or petrol car this year.
Some car owners have made an even more dramatic switch, with 4% saying they have sold their car this year and not replaced it.
The research findings highlight that the impact of rising costs is not uniform across different groups – drivers under 35 are a staggering eight times more likely to have sold their car and not replaced it than drivers over 55.
The increasing cost of motoring has prompted some drivers to take up good motoring maintenance habits with 10% saying they have started regularly checking their tyre pressures, while a slightly higher proportion (11%) have emptied their car boot of any heavy items and 3% of drivers have removed roof racks, bars or bike racks which they normally keep permanently on their car.
“We would encourage all motorists to make sure their car is running as efficiently as possible and to especially take the measures that cost nothing – ensure that their tyres are at the correct pressure and that the car is not suffering from unnecessary weight in the boot or drag on the roof,” said Roger Grigg of Kwik Fit.
“Seemingly small measures can have a big impact on fuel consumption and of course, having the correct tyre pressure will also help prolong the life of a tyre by reducing premature wear.”