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Car switch under fuel price rise

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Nearly one in five motorists (15%) have admitted they will be forced to switch to a more economical car model if fuel prices touch predicted levels for the year, a poll has shown.

Prices of unleaded petrol and diesel are expected to reach 143p per litre and 146p per litre respectively by December 2011, according to a survey of drivers for

However, those polled said average fuel costs would need to hit 184.8p per litre to encourage them to change their vehicle - a development that will have been noted by dealerships and car insurance companies.

Findings reveal that while a rise of this proportion represents a significant increase in the level of fuel price - 43% - since January 2011, the change is possible as levels had previously risen by 15% in 2010 and 30% in 2009.

According to the survey, more than half (56%) of drivers have already begun taking measures to cut the running costs of their vehicle.

More than two-thirds (69%) of these have started walking more, more than a third (36%) are making their car lighter by emptying the boot, and 35% are ensuring they do not waste fuel through excessive braking by checking if the traffic is slowing prior to heading off.

© Press Association 2011