Millions Of Drivers More Dependent On Their Cars In 2018 Than Last Year

Mon 24th Sep 2018

A major new report into the state of the UK’s motoring has revealed that 13.2 million drivers believe they are more dependent on their cars now than they were in 2017.

The RAC’s comprehensive study of motoring trends, the annual ‘Report on Motoring’ is in its 30th year, and in previous years the dependency on cars, from 2012, had been in decline, but 2018 is the first year that the figure has rose.

The study surveys 1,808 motorists, and also found that car use has increased for the first time in four years, with 27% saying they use the car more than they did in the previous year, only 18% said their use had reduced.

The RAC’s chief engineer has been surprised by the figures which come at a time when the UK Government is trying to change attitudes to motoring. David Bizley said: “At a time when there is so much effort being put into tackling air quality issues and congestion, it is alarming to see that dependency on the car is actually the highest we have ever seen.”

Transporting family members, having a longer commute and friends and family moving further away are highlighted as the three top reasons for more car use, although a deterioration in public transport was also high on the list with 24% of the results. Reliability, higher fares and cuts in services all flagged as the reason for a lack of faith. These figures are backed up by a recent Government survey which suggests that we are taking few bus journeys than 10 years ago. Six out of 10 surveyed did say that they would use their car less if public transport was better.

David Bizley pointed out that currently public transport is not seen as a reliable alternative to driving.

He said: “While there is much talk about improving public transport, the reality is very different as buses and trains are not meeting public expectations, and in fact in some cases have actually gone backwards.

“Our research clearly shows many people don’t think public transport offers a viable alternative to the car for their needs, especially those living in more rural areas, 84% of whom say they would struggle to adjust to a car-free lifestyle in contrast to 70% of urban dwellers.”