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Fuel costs alter driving habits

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Rising fuel prices have forced nearly nine in 10 motorists to take action to decrease their fuel consumption, a new study has shown.

Fuel costs have risen by 30% over the past year, and research by Nationwide Autocentres found that as many as 85% of drivers are taking at least one course of action to reduce their fuel bills.

Some 86% of motorists admitted they are more concerned by fuel prices now than a year ago. People who are changing their driving habits to cut costs may also opt for a cheaper car insurance policy.

The study further showed that younger motorists - those in the 17-24 age group - claimed to be least bothered by the fuel price changes, while drivers aged between 35 and 44 were the worst affected.

Measures being taken to reduce fuel consumption include driving more slowly and efficiently (by 62% of drivers), shopping around for cheaper fuel (55%), reducing the number of car journeys (50%).

Meanwhile, some 17% of drivers changed their car for a more fuel-efficient model, and around 3% tried alternative fuels to cut costs.

Nationwide Autocentres suggested that people can save fuel in a number of ways - including reducing speed, switching off air-conditioning, inflating tyres to the appropriate pressure and removing any unnecessary accessories like roof racks, boxes and bike carriers.

© Press Association 2010