Cash-strapped motorists are sacrificing food in order to keep their cars on the road, a survey has revealed. Nearly a third of those polled in a Motors.co.uk Driver Satisfaction survey said they had been forced to cut their weekly grocery shop just so they can cover increasingly pricey fuel and insurance bills.
It's a worrying statistic, but hardly shocking given that the average cost of fuel in July 2012 was a whopping 132.20p. In June, 2007 was 96.98p.
Increasingly expensive insurance premiums also play a key role in the rocketing cost of keeping cars on the road. According to insurance firm Confused.com the average comprehensive policy has risen from £506 in 2007 to £797 at the end of June, 2012. If we crack out the calculator, that's an increase over five years of 63 per cent -- or 12 per cent a year.
Cash-strapped drivers are also cutting back in other areas. A third of respondents said they had started going to the gym less, or had cut their membership entirely, and nearly eight out of ten admitted they are having to make day-to-day lifestyle changes.
20 per cent of those surveyed have now turned to using public transport to get to work, five per cent have begun cycling and a whopping 32 per cent are now walking. Ten per cent have decided to trade-in their current wheels for a more efficient ride or have ditched their second car.
As you can imagine with such high costs, of the 2,669 adults across the UK surveyed, 71 per cent feel the government is still against motorists, and 74 per cent of drivers are unhappy with rising insurance costs.
And even with the postponement of a fuel rise until 2013, 71 per cent of motorists are still concerned about this area of motoring. Adding insult to injury, drivers are finding the level of work done to roads to keep potholes at bay has been dissatisfactory. 71 per cent said they were unhappy in this area – an increase from 51 per cent last year.
Motors.co.uk commercial director, Phil Jones, said of the findings: "Unreasonable changes to the costs of driving and car ownership throughout 2011 and the early part of 2012 have left consumers feeling short-changed.”
"The government may well have taken a well advised U-turn on the planned rise in fuel duty, however it is clear from these results that this move is too little, too late,” he added.
Are you feeling the pinch? Let us know in the comments.
Image: Clark Winter