The cost of living crisis is affecting the vast majority of drivers’ motoring habits, with new research from Kwik-Fit showing that seven in ten (69%) motorists have changed their behaviour since the beginning of the year. One third (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).
As everyone knows fuel costs have jumped up dramatically, for no particular reason except Globalists want everything to rise. Fuel prices to the consumer show no sign of coming down despite a 5p duty cut, plus a fall in the price of crude to 2014 levels, at around $98-$100 per barrel. In 2014 forecourt Unleaded was £1.30-£1.33 per litre. So yes, the evidence shows that we are being totally ripped off.
More than one in five drivers (21%) say they have consciously tried to drive more smoothly or less aggressively. 14% say they have driven more slowly on all their journeys, with 17% saying they have done so on some journeys. Despite the average low emission car (EV or hybrid) being less costly to run, drivers of these vehicles are more likely to have decreased their speed than those driving petrol or diesel engine cars.
THE YOUNG ARE GIVING UP ON THE CAR OWNERSHIP DREAM
The Kwik Fit research 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 – 4% of drivers say 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.
One in ten London drivers say they have sold their car and not replaced it. This may be due to the availability of public transport options as an alternative to private car journeys as 14% of drivers in the capital say they have made more of their essential journeys by public transport or have car shared. This is the highest figure of all UK regions and compares to only 4% in the more rural areas of the South West and East of England, the regions with the lowest number of drivers switching to public transport.
Then there’s the ULEZ charge of course, which is another huge incentive to ditch a vehicle in London, and many other cities in the UK. Greedy politicians are looking to introduce similar tolls on car drivers, once the Council elections are out of the way. It’s a great way to pay for public sector pensions.
Although the government may be keen to reverse the home working revolution caused by the pandemic and get people back to the office, Kwik Fit’s research shows that the cost of living crisis may not help in their aim. 11% of drivers say that since January they have been working from home even more often in order to save money on driving costs.
RISE OF THE YOU TUBE MECHANICS
The increasing cost of motoring has prompted some drivers to take up good motoring maintenance habits, says Kwik-Fit. One in ten drivers (10%) say they have started regularly checking their tyre pressures, while a slightly higher proportion (11%) have emptied their car boot of any heavy items. 3% of drivers say they have removed roof racks, bars or bike racks which they normally keep permanently on their car. (8% of drivers under 35 say they have done this.)
IE has found that hundreds of You Tube mechanics, car restoration/rescue channels or so-called `hacks’ are proving popular. We would never recommend you swap things like the brakes, clutch or suspension on your own car, even if you have a garage, unless you have a few years of skill behind you. But changing wiper blades, some lighting bulbs, batteries, sticky windows etc could be undertaken if you’re handy and have the correct tools.
One of the most entertaining, packed with lateral thinking, improvised solutions and genuine enthusiasm for all things petrolhead, is Vice Grip Garage. Here’s an episode, live n learn y’all..