The much-reported and very serious cost of living crisis is affecting the vast majority of drivers’ motoring habits, with research published showing that 69% of motorists have changed their behaviour since the beginning of the year.
This is from new research for Kwik Fit which reveals that in 2022 over one third (35%) of drivers have cut down on car journeys they describe as “non-essential”. Those driving petrol or diesel cars are twice as likely to have cut down on these journeys compared to drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids (40% vs 22% respectively).
The cost of living crisis has prompted many drivers to reappraise their driving styles – more than one in five drivers (21%) say they have consciously tried to drive more smoothly or less aggressively. 14% say they have driven more slowly on all their journeys, with 17% saying they have done so on some journeys. Despite the average low emission car (EV or hybrid) being less costly to run, drivers of these vehicles are more likely to have decreased their speed than those driving petrol or diesel engine cars.
The Kwik Fit research found that 17% of drivers of EVs or hybrids have swapped from a diesel or petrol car this year as a direct result of the cost of living crisis. Some car owners have made an even more dramatic switch – 4% of drivers say they have sold their car this year and not replaced it. The research findings highlight that the impact of rising costs is not uniform across different groups – drivers under 35 are a staggering eight times more likely to have sold their car and not replaced it than drivers over 55.