The cost of motoring has slipped beyond the control of many hard up Brits. Research by the RAC and FairFuel UK has revealed things are so bad that 1 in 6 of us have resorted to sleeping in our cars instead of using precious fuel to get home.
It’s a scarcely believable statistic that, if true, could be compounded if Chancellor George Osborne introduces a 3p per litre fuel duty increase when the autumn budget is announced on Thursday 5th December.
RAC and FairFuel UK’s research provided numerous other statistics that further illustrate the sad state of motoring in the UK. Three per cent of respondents admitted setting up camp near work to keep fuel costs down. Another eight per cent of the 9,000 respondents have considered changing job, while 1.5 per cent handed in their notice because they couldn’t afford to drive in every day and, presumably, felt they had no alternative.
In the most extreme cases, four respondents admitted to sleeping rough, though we can’t imagine why you’d want to sleep in a cardboard box or on a park bench if you actually have a car – unless that car is a G-Wiz.
Some 85 per cent of Brits say fuel costs are having a negative effect on their social life, with 17 per cent going as far as cutting out family days out and holidays. Even shopping has taken a hit, with 7 per cent having to cut out trips of this nature, thanks to the average cost of filling up hitting £62.70.
Quentin Wilson, spokesman for FairFuel UK, told the Sun newspaper: “These results prove that unless the Chancellor acts he’ll be delivering a cruel Christmas and an impoverished New Year to millions of families.”
There is, of course, an upside to rising fuel costs. If fewer people drive, we’ll have cleaner air from reduced CO2 emissions and less congestion on our already heaving roads. However if the government does increase fuel duty and fewer people drive, it could generate far less cash – both from fuel sales and from fewer people taking shopping trips in their cars.
Is the Government doing the right thing by squeezing us out of cars and into greener methods of transport, or should it look after those who still require a car? Let us know your thoughts.