After months of cheap fuel, the price of petrol and diesel is set to rise. As a result of escalating oil prices, drivers’ forecourt costs will increase after months of stable low prices. However, there was good news in the 2016 Budget. Chancellor George Osborne revealed that fuel duty will be frozen for the sixth year in a row.
However, the rebounding price of oil and the weaker pound could see fuel prices rise by up to 3p per litre in April. The result could have a dramatic impact on how Brits use their cars, according to new research by Green Flag. The study claims that 31 per cent of British car owners will drive less than they currently do because of fuel price rises. Astonishingly, one in 20 car drivers will stop driving altogether thanks to the increases.
More than a third of drivers (37 per cent) say rising fuel prices are a continual concern for them. More than a quarter claim they can’t afford a rise at all and 21 per cent reckon fuel price rises will prompt dramatic changes to the household budget.
A fifth of drivers (18 per cent) will turn to public transport and 17 per cent will alter their driving style to save fuel. One in 20 of us will change our jobs because of the fuel price rises.
Green Flag’s head of transformation, Nick Reid said: “Rising fuel prices will affect countless drivers across the country. For many, driving is a vital part of everyday life and any rise in fuel costs will have a huge impact on people’s household budgets. Our research found that 37 per cent of drivers haven’t visited friends or family due to the fuel costs involved, which is a great shame as there are plenty of ways to increase fuel efficiency.”
Other budget announcements included:
- Increasing Insurance premium tax (IPT) by just half a per cent
- Improving the M62 to four lanes and upgrading the A66 and A69
- Halving prices of the Severn River Crossing to £3.30
Fuel price rises: Simple ways to save
Air we go
Make sure your tyres are properly inflated. Check them at least once a week and ensure they’re cold when you do it or you’ll get a falsely high pressure reading. Tyres that are under pressure cause your car to use more fuel and wear more quickly. Read more about tyre care here.
Clear the clutter
Extra weight inside your car means the engine will need to burn more fuel to carry it all around. Clear out the New Year’s resolution gym kit that’s been festering in the boot since January and remove a roof rack or roof box if you’re not using them. The aerodynamic drag of having them on the roof will cause your car to use more fuel.
Stick to the speed limit
As well as being the safest way to go and not exposing yourself to speed cameras, sticking to the speed limit has a beneficial effect on your fuel economy and should enable you to drive more smoothly.
Easy does it
Accelerate away from a standstill gently. Change gear smoothly and before the revs reach 2000rpm (or if you car has one, follow its gear change indicator) and anticipate the road ahead. One of the certainties in life is that green traffic lights turn red. Rather than accelerating up to lights, cruise up to them, expecting them to change.