Soaring Petrol Prices Could Take Millions of Cars Off the Road

45.3% of employees would consider switching to an alternate method of transport if costs increased – 22.3% would do this with an increase of just £5 a day.
• More than half of employees currently drive petrol and diesel vehicles to work (50.8%)
• Petrol prices see sharpest weekly increase for 18 years

With prices at the pumps having seen their steepest weekly increases for almost two decades, research from Kura has revealed that soaring prices may see millions of drivers leaving their cars behind in favour of more sustainable transportation methods.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 working professionals across the UK, revealed that nearly half (45.3%) of employees would consider forgoing their cars in favour of an alternative transport method, such as public transport, if daily costs increased. Notably, 22.3% would consider switching if costs increased by just £5 a day, meaning that the current petrol price inflation may potentially take millions of cars off the roads during rush-hour.

According to the research, more than half of employees (50.8%) drive petrol or diesel-fuelled cars to work, equating to as many as 15.4 million daily journeys across the UK’s 30.3 million-strong workforce. With other car-specific travel costs, such as congestion and parking, continuing to rise over time, daily car-led commutes may soon become unsustainable for much of the current workforce if prices at the pumps continue to rise.

Interestingly, it is the youngest generation of workers most likely to leave the car behind if costs should continue to increase. Kura research reveals that almost two thirds (62%) of 25-34 year-olds would switch to an alternate method of transport if the commute became too expensive.

Given the continuing rise in fuel prices, cost was revealed to be an increasing concern amongst the workforce, with 13.8% of employees reporting it among their most pressing worries around their commute. Unsurprisingly, cost concerns are once again felt most keenly amongst younger workers, with one in five workers aged 25-34 (20.4%) citing cost as a major commuting barrier.

Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, comments: “This latest increase to cost of living is just the latest in a long line of challenges created by our societal over-reliance on car-led journeys. As operating a car becomes increasingly expensive, we expect to see more and more drivers – younger drivers in particular – making the switch to less expensive alternatives for their commute, meaning greener, safer, smarter journeys for all”.

“However, we must promote the benefits of change, rather than relying on cost-driven action that will disproportionately hit groups such as lower earners and those starting out in business. Employers can do their part to accelerate this step-change, supporting their employees on their increasingly-expensive commute and providing more environmentally-friendly options that incentivise staff to finally leave the car behind and become part of a greener transport revolution.”

For more data and findings from the ”Commuting to 2025” report please click here