Driving up fuel costs

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
June 07, 2011, 7:56 PM GMT+0

Half of UK motorists say they have reduced the amount of driving they do due to the rising cost of fuel, while more than nine out of ten feel ripped off by the current price of petrol and diesel, our online survey of British drivers for insurance firm Admiral, has found.

The survey questioned 2,500 drivers in the UK who hold a valid driver’s licence and at least one car in their household as part of the annual Admiral Survey of Motorists, and the results point to the significant impact that fuel prices, and additional related motoring costs, are having on drivers.

  • 92% feel ripped off by the current cost of fuel
  • 51% have reduced the amount of driving they do due to the cost of fuel
  • 17% have ignored a fault with their car due to the cost of repairs
  • 15% have cut back on servicing their car due to the cost of servicing
  • 8% have ignored problems with their tyres due to the cost of replacements

Admiral also asked motorists what percentage of the cost of fuel they believe is made up of duty and tax and what percentage of it they think would be fair.

  • On average, they believe 64% of the cost is made up of fuel duty and VAT, however they think a fairer amount would be less than half that at 31%.

Actually, fuel duty and VAT account for around 60% of the total price of petrol and diesel.

Cause for concern

Sue Longthorn, Admiral Managing Director said, ‘With the average cost of a litre of unleaded at £1.36 and diesel at £1.41, this research shows the depth of feeling British motorists have about the high cost of fuel right now. Now it seems high fuel costs are actually affecting how much they drive, with 51% of them saying they’ve reduced the amount of driving they do. It’s probably the single motoring issue car owners feel most passionate about.’

She also emphasised that ‘it’s a concern that some motorists are willing to drive around with tyres not in the very best of condition. This could certainly cause more serious problems long term and could even cause them to have an accident.’