UK driving behaviours changing due to cost-of-living crisis, survey finds

74 per cent of drivers are using their car differently to save money.

With the cost-of-living crisis becoming more embedded, a nationwide survey commissioned by Kia has identified that a significant proportion of UK motorists have changed their driving habits to save money.

37 per cent say they are now using their car less for short urban journeys, and 37 per cent have instead taken to walking or cycling ‘where possible’.

With fuel and electricity prices rising at a rate not seen in decades, a third (33 per cent) of drivers surveyed say they now pay more attention to where they can refuel/recharge their car more affordably.

In addition, 28 per cent say they now make more effort to plan journeys to save fuel.

When behind the wheel, 31 per cent of motorists say they are thinking more about their own driving style to increase efficiency and save money on fuel, accelerating less often and keeping to a lower speed.

The survey found that a much higher proportion of younger drivers have changed their driving style in this way, compared to just 26 per cent of those aged between 55 and 64.

The survey also highlighted how rising fuel costs are impacting how frequently drivers use their car to visit family and friends, with 25 per cent of respondents confirming they have cut back on such journeys.

The trend is highest among Londoners (35 per cent), with those in Northern Ireland the least likely to say they have reduced this type of trip by car (11 per cent).

Overall, 19 per cent of those surveyed say they have cut their spending on non-essential items so they can continue using their car as normal.

However, there are wide regional variations – 33 per cent of Londoners have made cutbacks to keep driving, compared to 20 per cent of Scots and just 10 per cent of those based in the West Midlands.

While many car owners are changing how they drive, Kia’s survey has highlighted that over half (52 per cent) still wished they knew more about how to adapt their driving style to further reduce their fuel or battery energy consumption.

Younger drivers aged between 18 and 24 were particularly enthusiastic about this (86 per cent), compared to just 38 per cent of those aged over 65.

With the cost of fuel so high and environmental factors at the forefront of many people’s minds, more UK drivers are considering switching to an electrified vehicle.

Of those with a petrol or diesel car, 52 per cent of survey respondents said they were now either ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle when they next change their car.

The survey also highlighted that Londoners were the keenest on electric or hybrid car ownership (56 per cent), while those located in the East Midlands were least enthusiastic (38 per cent).

Of those likely to change to an electric or hybrid vehicle, an equal number (42 per cent) would choose a hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle as those who would choose a battery electric vehicle, while eight per cent reported no preference.

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