Rising petrol and diesel costs are forcing drivers in the UK to change their driving habits, according to the latest research from carwow.
The company polled more than 1,400 motorists and 44% of respondents admit they have changed their driving habits as a direct result of rising fuel prices, with more than two thirds (69%) now shopping around for the cheapest per/litre fuel costs, even if that means driving away from their nearest petrol station.
The average price of a litre of petrol in the UK is currently 154.2p/litre – up from 147.9p in just a month. carwow found that more than two thirds of motorists would potentially drive out of their way to find cheaper fuel; one in four (24%) do this at least some of the time while almost half (45%) compare do it every time they fill up.
While the cost of unleaded remains much lower than the 188.8p/litre peak seen in mid-July 2022, carwow’s study suggests that drivers are concerned about a repeat of last year, when the cost of unleaded rose considerably in less than six months as more than half (52%) of those polled say they are worried about more price hikes before Christmas.
The findings come as carwow launches its online fuel-price checker, allowing drivers to check the prices of the most affordable petrol or diesel at petrol stations near their current location or chosen address. Prices are updated daily, so that motorists can find the cheapest fuel prices nearby.
Sally Foote, UK Managing Director at carwow, said “Petrol prices have been slowly creeping up again this year, but over the last few weeks we have seen some of the sharpest rises in some time, with the cost of unleaded increasing by over 6p a litre in just a month.”
“That means that last month it cost £88.74 to fill a 60-litre tank, now it costs £92.52. £3.78 more may not sound like a huge amount, but it all adds up, and is no doubt why we are seeing people change their driving habits and shop around for the best prices as they look to try and mitigate the impact of rising petrol prices on their household budgets.”
“If you add on to this the new charges associated with clean air zones like the expanded ULEZ area, as well as increased car tax since April 2023 and car insurance premiums rising – motorists up and down the UK are feeling the pinch when it comes to keeping their cars on the road. The cost of driving seems only to be rising, but it still pays to compare prices when it comes to all associated motoring costs – including of course if you’re buying a new car or selling your old car.”