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Rising fuel prices encourages drivers to choose more efficient cars

Eighteen per cent of drivers are choosing a more fuel efficient car in attempts to mitigate the rising cost of fuel.

In a survey of 2,500 people by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, 80 per cent of drivers also said they had changed their driving behaviour to save fuel.

Other changes in behaviour include:

■ Making fewer journeys (38.1 per cent).
■ Walking shorter journeys they previously would have driven (34.54 per cent).
■ Using public transport more (21.48 per cent).
■ Cycling shorter journeys they would previously have driven (19.19 per cent).
■ Buying a more fuel-efficient car (18.08 per cent).

Drivers are not keen to give up their cars completely – 74 per cent were against this idea – but more than half said they stick to the speed limit to keep fuel consumption down, and more than 70 per cent check their tyre pressures regularly.

Turning off the air-con and emptying the car of unnecessary clutter were also popular methods.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “The days of cruising the motorway at 80mph, regardless of the cost, are over. With rocketing fuel prices it is clear that drivers are changing their behaviour, which is good for their health and the environment.

“For millions of motorists driving is a necessity, not a luxury. Rural drivers especially need their cars for work, socialising and family life. If drivers can reduce their car usage that’s great, but for those who can’t, driving as economically as possible is the answer.”

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