As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, and will do for the foreseable future, many motorists are hanging up the car keys.

Cars are being taken off the road, public transport numbers, especially bus use, is up as families look to make ends meet as soaring inflation costs bring the realities reduced take home pay bring the population down to earth with a bump.

Off the road

SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) applications rose by 77% last year. As a direct result of the cash crisis,  many drivers are evaluating just how affordable it is to keep their cars on the road.

Prices of insurance and fuel remain too high for many motorists to justify vehicle ownership.

Uswitch Car Insurance  surveyed 2,000 British motorists on their concerns and the measures they have taken to reduce costs.

How worried are motorists about the impact of the cost of living crisis on their driving habits?

Worried (net) Not worried (net)
53% 45%

Reasoning on the road

53% of British motorists have concerns that the cost of living crisis will force them to adjust their driving habits.

39% of all motorists say they have considered giving up driving altogether due to the rising cost of fuel.

The average motorist is spending £4.12 more on fuel each week this year (£35.06) than last year (£30.94). This translates to additional spending of £214.24 a year.

The survey reveals that 49% of 35-44-year-olds claimed they were likely to give up driving due to fuel costs. This age group is experiencing the largest increase in fuel spending.

Drivers of this age currently spend £5.73 more per week on average than last year, as weekly fuel costs rose from £33.93 to £39.66.

Ensuring affordability

Crunching the numbers finds hat 25% of motorists have considered quitting driving due to the rising cost of insurance. In fact, 15% of drivers have gone as far as registering a vehicle as a SORN to save money on their car insurance.

However, despite rising concerns around the costs of insurance, just 33% of drivers surveyed said they had changed providers in the last year. Despite high profile campaigns over the last few years encouraging motorists to compare insurance renewal prices, over a third are still potentially missing out on a more affordable plan.

 How much have UK motorists’ insurance quotes gone up in the last year?[7]

 Responsible for at least one accident in the last year Motorists that have been in an accident in the last year, but were not responsible No accident in the last year
£155 £110 £68

Despite having not been in an accident in the last year, British motorists have seen their insurance quotes rise by an average of £68.

Quotes rose for all drivers regardless of age, although younger drivers have again generally seen the largest increases. Those aged 17-24 saw their quotes increase by £97 on average, while those over 55 saw an average rise of just £49.

Quotes have increased even more for drivers that have been in an accident, regardless of whether they were responsible. Those that were in a crash, but were not at fault, saw their quotes increase by an average of £110. Drivers that were responsible saw much higher rises, averaging £155 – 128% more than those that had not been involved in an accident in the last year.

Check your options

Leoni Moninska, Uswitch car insurance expert, says there are a number of ways to ensure you get the best insurance renewal price.“Car insurance is one of the largest expenditures for drivers, but even while costs are increasing, there are still ways to keep them affordable:

  • Consider your options in advance: Without intervention, it’s likely that your insurance will renew automatically – but this usually isn’t the best choice for your finances. Looking into your options far ahead of the end of your deal means you have the time to research and find the best deal ahead of your renewal.
  • Consider black box insurance: As part of black box cover, your insurer will equip your car with a GPS that can track the quality of your driving, and potentially reduce the cost of your premiums if you prove yourself as a careful driver. 
  • Add a named driver: Introducing another driver to your policy, especially if you have only just passed your test, can bring the cost of your insurance down.
  • Protect your no-claims discount: For every year you drive without making a claim, your no-claims discount increases, up to a maximum of typically eight years. This discount can see huge savings on your insurance, so investing in protecting it could keep your premiums far lower in the long term, even if you do have to make a claim.”