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Motorists cut back on driving as budgets get squeezed

Almost half of UK motorists (43 per cent) have taken steps to reduce the amount they drive, according to new research, as the rising cost of running a car puts strains on household budgets.

A further 6 per cent have stopped driving completely while almost a fifth (18 per cent) deploy eco-driving techniques to eek out more miles to the gallon. According to a study of 2581 motorists by price comparison website, MoneySupermarket.com, another 6 per cent say they have switched to driving a more fuel efficient car.

Filling up is getting more and more expensiveJust 14 per cent say they have taken no action and have not changed their driving habits at all.

Clare Francis, consumer finance expert at MoneySupermarket.com, commented: “Keeping a car on the road is an absolute necessity for millions of families across the country – sadly it’s also a wallet-busting drain on household finances. But people can fight back against sky-high fuel prices as there are ways to save money, helping ease the pressure on their finances.

“Shop around for the best deal on the forecourt to make sure you aren’t paying over the odds for your fuel; type your postcode into PetrolPrices.com to find the cheapest options in your area. Supermarkets tend to have competitively priced fuel, so it could be well worth driving a few extra miles to get the best price particularly if it’s Tesco or Sainsbury’s as you can then earn Clubcard or Nectar points too.”

Motorists can also cut back on the overall cost of driving by shopping around when purchasing or renewing their car insurance. Analysis by the price comparison website also found average premiums are around eight per cent cheaper than this time last year which means there are savings to be found.

Drivers should also think about how they want to pay for their premium; most insurers charge more if customers choose to pay monthly rather than one lump sum. Opting for monthly repayments means drivers can expect to pay on average an additional 10.75 per cent to the cost of the original premium.

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Faye Sunderland

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