Startling figures reveal that near 1.3 million people have been forced off UK roads as a result of rising motoring costs.
The research, which was conducted by the supermarket chain Sainsburys, shows that a staggering one in 30 drivers have been forced to give up their cars in the last 12 months.
The research showed that petrol costs have had a 23% year-on-year rise, and now the average car owner can expect to pay around £1720 a year on petrol.
The report also shows that 26% of drivers are not filling up their petrol tanks, and 7% of motorists have turned to car sharing to beat the costs.
The report put’s the average cost of running a car, (petrol, car insurance, tax etc) at a whopping £3000 a year, a rise of 21% since last year, and because of this, it found 75% of motorists have changed their driving habits in the last 12 months to accommodate the rise.
The UK has 31 million drivers and 27 million cars on the road according to the AA.
However, the motoring organisation says it finds it hard to believe that there are 1.3 million less cars on the road now, and that 1 in 30 drivers have given up their car.
They believe that if those figures were true, it could be devastating to the economy as retailers rely on customers to go to out-of-town superstores.
The AA do agree though that most drivers have changed their driving habits
In the study, along with those who had admitted not filling their petrol tanks, it was found 45% are driving less often. 3.5 million people have also downgraded their car for one that is cheaper to run.
The squeeze on consumers - a result of rising inflation - is mainly down to higher oil prices feeding into the wider economy at a time of slower wage growth.
The average cost of petrol has fallen back from record highs earlier this year, and is slowly decreasing after 60 million drums of crude oil were released from emergency reserves, but the latest figures from Experian Catalist suggest unleaded currently stands at an average cost of 133.68p a litre while diesel averages in at 137.59p.
Ian Donaldson, Managing Director of Autonet, said, “Saving money is a big priority for families, especially in this climate, and that can be seen by the trend in motoring. However, whilst people may car share, I think they won’t be prepared to get rid of their cars in the hopes that things may get better. The best thing to do though in the current situation is to shop around for your car insurance, shop around for your petrol, there are many websites out their dedicated to doing everything they can to help you try and save money.” By Ben Malkin ©Copyright Autonet Insurance