Carry on at the petrol pump
- UK motorists willing to pay the price for petrol -
Embargoed until 00.01 on 8th August 2008: Petrol prices would have to reach an extortionate average of £1.75 per litre for motorists to even consider hanging up their car keys in favour of public transport(1).
Research by esure car insurance shows that although the national average petrol price is currently £1.15(2) per litre, British motorists are refusing to use alternative transport. Indeed, almost a fifth of drivers (17 per cent) questioned admitted they would be prepared to pay over £2 per litre for petrol in order to stay on the road.
76 per cent of those surveyed confessed they worry about rising fuel costs now more than ever before. But despite this, almost half (47 per cent) of motorists asked said they would never consider substituting their car for public transport, no matter how expensive petrol became, demonstrating the importance that British drivers place on their cars.
Younger people are least likely to pay over the odds for fuel; petrol prices would have to rise to £1.65 per litre for them to consider substituting their car for public transport – 10p per litre below the national average.
However, those drivers aged between 35 and 54 are more resilient when it comes to staying behind the wheel. Prices would have to rise 57 per cent to a massive £1.81 per litre for them to consider public transport instead of driving.
Mike Pickard, Head of Risk and Underwriting at esure car insurance, said: "It is indicative that motorists value their cars highly across the UK. British motorists are used to the convenience of driving their own cars and are clearly prepared to pay the price, however high, in order to stay on the road and keep their freedom. Petrol is seen as a commodity that people are just not prepared to give up.
"In a bid to conserve as much petrol as possible, simple changes to the way you drive can help prevent your car from guzzling up your hard earned cash. Driving slower, avoiding excessive breaking and switching off or turning down air conditioning or heating can all help."
The research also highlighted that motorists from the South East are willing to pay the most - an average of £1.84 per litre for petrol - whereas those in Scotland said that if prices reached £1.68 per litre they would consider substituting their car in favour of public transport.
esure has compiled some tips to help motorists to conserve fuel:
* Avoid heavy braking and accelerating – a measured speed helps conserve fuel. Watch the road ahead and anticipate when to slow down. Begin to reduce your speed well in advance
* Keep your speed down. Your car's handbook will tell you what the most fuel-efficient in-town and out-of-town speed is
* Close windows and sun-roofs to reduce drag
* Remove excess baggage from the car as heavy loads put more strain on a car
* Switch off or turn down air conditioning and heating
* Plan your route in advance so you can find the shortest route, avoiding rush hour traffic and roadworks
* Share journeys where possible and avoid all unnecessary trips
* Check your tyre pressure – flat tyres use more fuel
* Accelerate slowly when moving off from a stationary position
* Avoid rough roads and uneven surfaces wherever possible
* Park so that when you continue your journey you will move forwards rather than reversing as this uses more petrol