Are Drivers More Frugal Than Ever?

Sat 24th Sep 2022

As the Government’s mini-budget seemingly offers little respite for the UK’s hard-hit motorists, a new report from Kia has revealed that the cost-of-living crisis is changing the way we drive.

According to the Korean brand, a 'significant proportion' of UK motorists have altered their driving habits to save money.

It said that 37% reported using their vehicle less for short urban trips, and 37% have instead opted to walk or bike ‘if possible’.

Nearly one-third (33%) of motorists report that they now pay more attention to where they can refuel or recharge their vehicle more affordably because of the rising fuel and electricity costs. In addition, 28% of motorists now make more of an effort to plan their journeys (e.g. times and routes) to save fuel .

When driving, 31% of motorists report that they are working to improve their driving efficiency and economize on fuel by driving slower and accelerating less frequently. In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of young drivers (54% of those aged between 18 and 24 years old) are working to change their driving behavior compared to just 26% of those aged between 55 and 64 years old (26%).

A higher number of UK drivers are contemplating switching to an electrified vehicle due to the high cost of fuel. Among those with a petrol or diesel automobile, 52% of respondents either 'anticipated' or 'were very likely' to switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle the next time they change their car.

56% of London residents are most enthusiastic about owning an electric or hybrid car, while 38% of East Midlands residents are least excited ().

Those who are likely to switch to an electric or hybrid car are as equally split between those who would choose a plug-in hybrid or a battery electric car (42%), as those who would not express a preference (8%).

“During these challenging times for many UK households, our survey highlights how drivers are changing their driving and wider purchasing habits to be more considered with their income,” Sanka De Silva, marketing director at Kia UK, said.

“With the financial challenges tightening budgets, Kia can support UK customers to reduce some of this burden with a wide range of electrified products suitable for a wide range of customer needs, all offering excellent efficiency and low running costs, including zero emissions electric vehicles.

“That’s not all, Kia is also introducing and developing a number of cost-saving services for customers. Kia Charge offers plug-in vehicle owners discounted charging rates across almost 70% of the UK’s public charging network.”