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Changing driving habits for good

By Paul Baxter
20th March 2024

When we asked UK motorists how they had altered their driving habits recently in response to pressures like the cost of living crisis, driving schemes such as ULEZ and the climate emergency, we found that nearly two out of three (65%) UK motorists have introduced change.

Almost half of drivers taking action have reduced the number of miles they drive while a third are either driving more slowly or more carefully to preserve fuel. Other measures include using public transport, replacing short journeys with walking or cycling and using more of their cars’ features such as cruise control or speed limiters.

Nearly 3-in-10 drivers say they plan to reduce mileage still further in the next 12 months, and a quarter plan to drive more slowly or carefully.

The main reason that motorists give for making changes in their driving habits is the impact of the cost of living crisis and the need to save money (64%), closely followed by a desire to help the environment (63%), a determination to reduce pollution (51%) and plans to improve fitness (47%). The introduction of schemes such as ULEZ has had a direct effect on the driving habits of 8% of motorists, rising to 25% of drivers in London.

The greatest benefit delivered by changing driving habits is the cost-savings made on petrol or diesel, according to 66% of motorists, followed by feeling healthier through walking or cycling more (38%), saving money on the running costs of a car (32%), feeling more positive about impacts on the environment (28%) and saving money on insurance through lower mileage (10%).

Changes adopted in the last 12 months are likely to be here to stay: two thirds say that changes or planned changes to driving habits will be long-lasting, compared to 12% who say they will be temporary and 21% who are not sure.

A cocktail of different factors, including the need to save money, improve fitness and reduce environmental impacts, is clearly encouraging many of us to find ways in which we can adopt change.

The good news is that policies like ours are designed to achieve all of those goals with a single solution, which rewards more careful driving with lower premiums, while also providing insights into how drivers are reducing their carbon emissions.