Press Release from the RAC
Nearly three million cars in UK now used less than once a week
- 40% of Brits say they now drive less than they did a year ago
- Almost half of these say they have cut down on driving due to financial concerns
- 2.9 million ‘ghost cars’ in the UK are now used less than once a week
Britain’s streets and driveways have become the resting place of ‘ghost cars’ as motorists are abandoning their vehicles or dramatically cutting back on journeys in a desperate effort to save money.
The RAC estimates that there are now 2.9 million cars in the UK which are being used less than once a week*. One in seven respondents (14%) said that their household owned a car which was only used occasionally, with the North East (22%) and London (20%) the areas where this was most common, probably due to their extensive public transport networks. Amazingly, one third of these unused cars are only one to two years old, meaning they are rapidly depreciating in value while they sit idle on the driveway.
In the study conducted by the RAC, 40% of people said that they now use their cars less than they did a year ago, compared to just 14% who said they drove more regularly. Almost half (45%) of those cutting down on their driving said that this was due to financial concerns, meaning trips to visit family, friends and other parts of the country could be being sacrificed to save on fuel.
With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement fast approaching, the RAC and the lobby group FairFuelUK are calling on the Government to abandon its planned 3p petrol duty increase, which is due to come into effect in January. With research now showing that the spiralling cost of motoring is forcing drivers off the roads, it believes reducing tax on petrol and diesel will help to stimulate the economy and actually generate more income for the Treasury. RAC technical director David Bizley says: "The fact that there are almost three million ‘ghost cars’ on Britain’s roads which are used less than once a week shows that UK motorists are being priced out of motoring. This research backs up our belief that reducing fuel tax would in fact help generate more revenue for the Treasury and act as a catalyst for the British economy as a whole.”
Based on a survey of 1,359 people conducted by the RAC. * 14% of respondents who said their household had a vehicle which was used less than once a week, multiplied by 20.5 million households in UK -http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mro/news-release/workless-households-down-by-153-000-to-3-7-million/whnr0812.html
RAC supports FairFuelUK campaigning for fairer taxes on petrol & diesel. Over the last 20 months of campaigning on behalf of its seven million members the RAC’s efforts together with FFUK is accredited with stopping a total 11p planned increase in duty and VAT on fuel. This equates to an annual saving of £114.56 on the average motorist’s fuel bill (based on average mpg and 9k miles/yr) or a total saving of £3.4billion for the UK’s 30 million motorists. Show support and find out more at www.fairfueluk.com.