New research carried out by Saga Insurance has found that drivers over 50 have reduced their annual mileage in a bid to cut back on spending.

The report suggests that older motorists have reduced their annual mileage by a fifth since the credit crunch started, with the average over 50 driving around 5,389 miles a year, down from 6,561 seven years ago.

A questionnaire quizzed nearly 9,000 adults on their driving habits and the results found that the over 50s are doing a number of things to reduce the cost of running a car; including looking for the cheapest places to fill up (47%), leaving the car and walking more often (36%) and using public transport (35%). One in 14 have started shopping for groceries online to avoid driving to the shops.

It was revealed that although women are happiest leaving the car at home – opting instead to walk or use public transport – men are twice as likely to take up cycling as an alternative means of transport.

People in the North East are the most likely to cut back on motoring costs to free up some money at the end of the month, while the Welsh are the least likely to give up driving around in the comfort of their own car.

It is not just older drivers feeling the pinch; a separate study by vehicle remarketing company BCA found over a quarter say they now only purchase the amount of fuel needed, rather than filling up the tank on each visit to the petrol station – while one in four also search online for the cheapest petrol station before heading out to fill up.

The findings back up the fact that the poorest 10% of car-owning households in the UK are spending more than a quarter of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle.

The research by the RAC uncovered that of the £167 poorer households spend each week, £44 goes on car-related expenses.

Picture from Fotolia

Leon Poultney


April 24, 2013