More drivers using cars for essential journeys only

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando
The rocketing cost of motoring, concern for the environment and a desire to avoid traffic have meant that three quarters of drivers are using their cars less, with nearly half using them for essential journeys only according to research from Santander Credit Cards. However, the dip in car usage has been a boon for local community shops. A third of drivers surveyed said that they were buying more from shops near to their home, and 12 per cent said that they were going out for dinner and drinks near to where they lived. In a bid to cut travel costs, 3.1 million motorists also said that they were looking for jobs that are closer to home. There’s also a suggestion that these figures would be higher if people had greater faith in public transport. The research shows that motorists are reluctant to switch to buses, trains or similar, with only 10 per cent choosing to ditch their car in favour of public transport. However, a quarter of drivers say they would use public transport more frequently if it was less expensive and a third could be tempted if it was more reliable. While the research hints at a concerted effort by Britain’s motorists to reduce the amount they drive, it appears that there is still a long way to go. About 40 per cent of drivers still admit to making up to five trips of less than a mile by car every week, although around a third of drivers making short journeys (35 per cent) say that they feel guilty as a result.