RAC Cars News


Motoring Morale At An All Time Low In Britain

By raccars Published

A combination of factors is adding up to cause misery for UK motorists, according to a new RAC survey. The report cites the high cost of fuel, a hatred of speed cameras and the poor condition of Britain's roads as the main culprits attacking drivers' morale.

Other factors depressing motorists include bad road manners, aggressive driving and drivers using mobile 'phones while behind the wheel. As a result, Brits are unhappier driving now than at any other time in the last 25 years.

Drivers feel the situation has been made worse by the fact that 90% admit they rely on their cars for transport more now than in the past and 78% feel it would be very difficult to live without their car. The report also notes the rise in female drivers, from 40% of licence holders 25 years ago, to 46% now.

With 61% of survey respondents naming the rising cost of motoring as their main bugbear, a third claimed that the controversial government proposal, to charge tolls on UK roads, would be acceptable to them if this resulted in a reduction in the current levels of VED and tax on fuel. Petrol prices have increased by 264% in the last quarter of a century.

The RAC Report on Motoring for 2012 is the 25th such study, the first of which showed 24.2 million cars on UK roads, in comparison to 34.5 million today. In 1989, the first report listed the Ford Escort, Ford Sierra, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Cavalier and the Vauxhall Astra as Britain's best selling cars, while this year's top five best selling models list is filled out by the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf. Many of the seven million extra drivers on the roads since then are women, speed cameras didn't even exist and mobile 'phones were about the size and weight of bricks.

Along with the almost threefold rise in fuel duty, from 17.7p per litre on petrol and 17.3p per litre on diesel, to 57.95p all round, motorists are unimpressed with the rise in car tax. Owners of medium sized family cars paid £100 in Vehicle Excise Duty per year in 1989, while today's 'polluter pays' rates mean similar vehicles now pay around £475 annually, with costs rising to £1,000 for thirstier cars.

On top of aggressive price rises comes aggressive behaviour and suspension endangering potholes, while more than 20% of drivers bemoan the daily frustration of traffic jams and motorway congestion and one in five struggles to find parking, ultimately resulting in a less enjoyable driving experience.

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