Rise in car dependence in last year

Friday, September 21, 2018


New figures from the RAC suggest that a third of drivers are more reliant on their car than they were 12 months ago, the equivalent of 13.2 million motorists. 


These figures are revealed in the RAC’s annual Report on Motoring, based on a representative survey of over 1,800 motorists. 


Of the people who said they have become more reliant on their car, 14% said they are ‘much more dependant’ – a statistically significant increase of 5% more than in 2017. 


The RAC report also revealed that 27% of motorists have increased their car usage in the last year, this is the first time in four years car use has seen an increase. 


The top reasons for this increase in car use include greater need to transport family members (34%), a longer commute (32%) and family or friends having moved further away (27%). A significant 24% of those surveyed blamed a deterioration in public transport services for their increased car use. 


75% of motorists surveyed said they would find it ‘very difficult’ to adjust their lifestyle to being without a car.


RAC chief engineer 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.


“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. 


“There is a definite willingness among motorists to use public transport more if only it were better. Consequently, people end up driving by default as they feel public transport is either too expensive, non-existent or just doesn’t go where or when they need it to.


“Judging by the findings of this year’s RAC Report on Motoring the car, however it is powered, is here to stay.”


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