Half of young drivers cut back on food shopping to cover soaring fuel costs

Almost 50% forced to borrow money from friends and family to stay mobile

Monday, 16th May 2022, 4:29 pm

More than half of young drivers have cut back on their grocery shopping to help cover the soaring cost of fuel, according to new research.

Almost as many have had to borrow money from friends or family in the face of rising prices at the pumps, which have seen the cost of an average fill-up increase by more than £20 in the last year.

Research into the financial difficulties faced by motorists found that 55% of those aged 18 to 34 had cut back on their grocery shopping to cover rising fuel bills and 49% said they struggled to afford to commute by car due to the increases.

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The study by online marketplace Choose my Car also found that 46% had been forced to ask friends or family for money to help cover the cost of keeping their car moving during the current cost of living crisis.

Diesel prices hit a new record high late last week and petrol is also edging closer to the record levels set in late March.

Since May 2021, prices have risen by 37p per litre for petrol and 48p per litre for diesel, leaving many motorists struggling to cope.

A separate study by Compare the Market found that money concerns are not limited to younger drivers, with 84% of motorists fearful of rising costs and half saying they have already started to use their car less due to the rising cost of fuel.

It also found that younger motorists were the most likely to struggle. While 40% of those polled said they didn’t earn enough to cover the rising costs, this figure grew to 55% of 25-34-year-olds.

The Compare the Market study also found that 18% of drivers across all age groups had been forced to borrow money from loved ones to help run their car and 25% had cut back on spending elsewhere. Almost a third (31%) expected to have to take on more debt to keep their car running.

Alex Hasty, director at Compare The Market, said: "Lots of people who do not live in a major city rely on their cars to get around. However, the high fuel costs are now forcing drivers to make fewer journeys, and some are needing to cut back on seeing friends and family. It is concerning that a number of people expect to go into debt to keep driving.

"There are a few ways motorists could save money to help offset the higher costs. Driving smoothly and removing heavy items from your car can help your vehicle use less fuel. Making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure not only improves the safety of your car, but it can also cut petrol costs, as well as help your tyres last longer.  Motorists could also save more than £100 by switching to a cheaper insurance policy ahead of their renewal.”