Survey Reveals Car Use Slump Despite Lower Petrol PricesThu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
USUALLY the news that petrol prices are down would be cause for celebration, but the latest AA/Populus survey reveals that car use is also on the slide.
Despite more wallet-friendly prices at the pumps the situation is failing to kick-start more car use. The poll of more than 18,000 AA members, conducted in June, revealed that just 7% were more relaxed about prices at the pumps, and were using their car more than a year ago.
However, as many as 57% said they were still in a car-travel rut and were adopting fuel-saving techniques despite lower prices. The survey also showed that 18% had replaced their car in the last 12 months with a more fuel-efficient one.
The AA highlighted Government figures which showed that petrol sales in March fell to a record low of 1.367 billion litres despite average petrol prices dipping to around 129.5p a litre - 10p lower than in March 2013.
The Government figures showed that UK petrol consumption in the first three months of this year was also at a record low, compared with January-March 2013.
According to survey respondents, 55% said the big increases in gas and electricity prices last winter forced them to choose carefully how they used their cars.
Commenting on the survey’s findings, AA president Edmund King said: "The fragility of driver and family budgets is clear to see. In December, 35% of the AA/Populus panel said they would cut back on car use if their domestic energy bills rose 10%. The reality is that 55% now say they have been affected.
"Years of sky-high petrol and diesel prices have taught drivers how to balance their spending by regulating their car use - even when the financial pressure isn't coming from the pump. Since 2005, the AA has warned of the damage to family budgets from runaway pump prices, but not even we could predict the scale of the backlash."
By Press Association reporters