Higher pump prices have pushed UK consumers to spend less on their cars and cut back on driving.
At the beginning of February, Britain's petrol prices rose to an average of 120p while diesel rose to 122p, and according to a new study, a quarter of drivers said they're now restricting their car use while one in seven is cutting back on non-fuel spending.
Fuel prices have increased by 18p per litre in the past year, meaning a family with two petrol cars is now spending more than £240 a month on fuel compared with £204 in February 2016.
A survey of more than 20,000 AA members showed 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 26 per cent of 25-34 year olds said they were cutting back in other areas of spending to compensate for higher fuel costs. At the same time, between 23 and 28 per cent across the age ranges said they're restricting their car use.
"This fuel price tragedy is history repeating itself, resurrecting the motoring misery that ran from the summer of 2008 to mid 2015. Businesses will also feel the squeeze as customers spend less and the cost of deliveries soars," said Edmund King, the AA’s president.
Half of those diverting more of their budgets into paying for road fuel are cutting back on weekly shopping, while others are cutting back on eating out (71 per cent), entertainment (60 per cent) and spending on children (28 per cent).
Some are taking funds out of their vehicles, however, with 15 per cent cutting back on car servicing – which rises to 21 per cent among 25 to 34 year olds.