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    Are rising petrol prices affecting our road usage?

    According to the BBC Website drivers are thinking twice about using their cars due to ridiculously high petrol prices. A survey by the AA across 17,500 of its members found that 27% had cut back on other areas of spending, 16% had cut back on using their car and 21% had done both. However, government figures show that traffic has only reduced by 2% in the face of skyrocketing petrol prices meaning change is not yet noticeable nationally.

    Over the bank holiday weekend experts are predicting that we could see petrol prices going up by as much as 5p. It doesn’t seem much, but all petrol and diesel is way over 100p per litre already. In fact, the average price for unleaded petrol is 113.01p and diesel is 124.87p. Could this mean that drivers will think twice about using their cars? As we live in a country where everything is ridiculously over-priced there is a possibility that things will not change.

    It used to cost me £20 to fill up my tank and now it costs me over £50. However, I need my car to get to work and it’s no cheaper to use public transport. Would I rather sit in my car comfortably, or be squashed up in a carriage with miserable Londoners? Way back in 2006 More Than looked at the rising petrol prices and showed that a rise of up to 150p per litre would make at least 42% of drivers use their cars less. As we near that figure with continually rising petrol prices we wait to see if people will cut back on road trips, if they will change their behaviour as predicted.

    Maybe a solution is using Hybrid cars? These greener cars may help road users cut down 61% of fuel costs and also reduce carbon emissons as much as 39%. Before anyone thinks “Where am I going to get the money to change my car?!” there could be a solution on the way. According to Auto Express we may soon be able to purchase a kit to install into our cars for around £2000. This would be a very good solution for people who use their cars for short distance driving.

    Out of interest, a good place to check petrol prices in your local area is Petrol Prices. Whilst if you are travelling with a hire car abroad then you can check the prices of petrol in USA and Canada, Australia and Europe by following the links. Happily not everywhere has quite such heavy fuel taxes as the UK meaning the rising price of oil will not necessarily making road-trips abroad cost-prohibitive.

    Back in the UK, we’d like to know what you think about the increase in petrol prices? How often do you use your car and how does this affect you? What about Hybrid cars? Are these a good solution to our problems, or will it just increase traffic as everybody will be on the road again? Let us know your thoughts.

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