Pricey petrol is a pressure for motorists

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An independent survey amongst over 1,000 motorists carried out by car insurance provider Hastings Direct has revealed the extent to which motorists are changing their driving habits due to the rising cost of motoring.

At the turn of the century petrol prices were about 77p per litre – they have nearly doubled in just 11 years and the trend is set to continue.

The Hastings Direct survey asked motorists what they would do at key future price points for petrol.

One in five drivers will give up their car completely if petrol hits £2 per litre, whilst more than one in ten (12 per cent) will buy a hybrid or electric car at this price point.

67 per cent of drivers currently use their car mainly for social use. When asked at what petrol price point drivers would stop using their car socially - over one in three (35 per cent) will at £1.50 per litre, one in five (20 per cent) at £1.60 and at £1.70, 18 per cent.

The rising cost of motoring has already hit drivers significantly in the last 12 months. Over three quarters (78 per cent) say that the rising costs have affected how frequently they drive including one percent who has given up their cars completely.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) have generally cut down on using the car – nearly half (49 per cent) have cut back at least 25 miles each week, nearly a third (32 per cent) by 50 miles per week and over seven per cent by in excess of 100 miles a week.

When asked how likely their next car was to be a hybrid or electric car nearly one in three (31 per cent) said it would – and six per cent said they would definitely buy an alternative powered car.

Managing directorTobias van der Meer said: “Our survey clearly shows the pressure motorists are feeling on their finances.

“Taking the right actions - reducing mileage and driving safely - can help motorists cut the cost of their insurance and their fuel bills, but ultimately motorists cannot and will not keep be able to keep on paying higher and higher petrol prices.”