Fleet News

New figures show motorists downsizing as petrol prices rise

New figures reveal that the cost of a tank of petrol could hit £100 by 2015, putting further pressure on UK households. Illustrating the possible consequences of this continuing rise in fuel on UK motorists, research from leading vehicle auction company, British Car Auctions (BCA) reveals that motorists are already planning to keep their cars for longer and drive less.

The latest Used Car Market Report from BCA included a survey of 4,000 motorists. This revealed that half of respondents felt that, at some point in time, the rising cost of fuel will force them to change to a more fuel-efficient car or alter their driving habits. Around a fifth reached that point when fuel hit £1.30 per litre and by the time the price of fuel reaches the £1.50 per litre mark a further 15% of car owners will be in a similar position.

Further demonstrating how strongly motorists feel about this issue, 39% of respondents to the survey said they would cut fuel duty if they could influence the country’s transport and motoring strategy. 22% said they would tackle the national fuel price.

“Our research shows that fuel consumption remains the top priority for motorists, with 27% saying they will be looking for better fuel economy on their next vehicle,” says Tim Naylor of BCA. “With fuel prices expected to keep on climbing, we anticipate the current motoring trends to continue. For instance, the number of two-car households has fallen by 5% in the last 12 months, as people look at ways to save.

“Plus if the latest predictions are realised, the used car market is going to see demand surge for smaller, fuel-efficient cars, as families continue to downsize in a bid to stretch their budget further. We are already seeing demand for these cars outstrip supply, which means rising prices for low mileage, good quality stock.

“With rising costs hitting households from every side and many wages frozen, it’s no wonder that two out of five motorists would like to see a cut in fuel duty. But rather than waiting for that unlikely change, car owners are changing how often they drive, as well as what they drive, in a bid to combat costs.”

Click here for fuel and fuel cards best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee