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'Unacceptable' fuel prices forcing drivers out of their cars

Press release   •   Feb 24, 2011 10:06 GMT

RAC finds 93%¹ of drivers believe the current price of fuel is unacceptable

  • Less than 10p a litre rise will see drivers significantly limit the use of their cars
  • 95% think the Government should take steps to bring the price down

With the cost of fuel at record levels and expected to continue rising due to the unstable oil market, RAC reveals that 93 per cent of drivers surveyed believe the current pump prices are ‘unacceptable’.

These escalating prices are causing drivers to rethink how often they take to the road, with three quarters admitting they have already made changes. However a further rise of just 9p a litre would make drivers significantly limit their car use, fundamentally impacting on peoples’ life, work and family.

RAC motoring strategist, Adrian Tink said: “It’s clear that we’re getting to the stage where drivers are going to be priced out of using their cars. Just another 9p increase on a litre of fuel will see people significantly limit their vehicle use. Before we know it the car will become the preserve of the rich.

“For many the car is a necessity rather than a luxury. For example, people living in rural communities have little, or no, public transport to access essential local services – making the car vital for day to day living.”

According to drivers, the responsibility for the spiraling fuel prices lies firmly at the door of the Government, with two thirds of drivers believing it is their fault and 95 per cent wanting them to do something about it. However the Government is set to push prices up even further on 1st April with the planned fuel duty rise of inflation plus 1p.

Tink commented further: “It’s time drivers finally got a fair deal from the Government, which is why the Chancellor must scrap the planned fuel duty rise in April and take a close look at what can be done to control the prices. This is very much a tax on modern living which many people have little choice but to pay. If the Government refuses to act then it will hit families, business and the economy hard.”

Quentin Willson, of Fair Fuel UK, said: “Fuel duty is a ticking financial time bomb. Do nothing and we could be looking at an £8.00 gallon before long. The planned April 1st duty hike is insane and could tip the economy towards a double-dip recession.

“I'm deeply worried that the Government doesn't understand how badly ordinary working motorists will be hit. This is a tax on going to work and taking the kids to school. Sign my petition before it’s too late. We need stop this lunacy now!”

RAC is supporting the Fair Fuel UK campaign to get the April fuel duty increase scrapped and a fairer deal for motorists.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

John Franklin : RAC Press Office : 01603 680795 : 07800 692110 :

Adrian Tink : RAC Press Office : 01603 681922 : 07800 690602 :

Notes to Editors

¹ 1437 drivers were surveyed on behalf of RAC by ICM Omnibus between 4 – 6 February

About RAC

With around seven million customers, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its customers and has been ranked first for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last four years. RAC was also the top-named breakdown organisation in the July 2009, January 2010 and July 2010 half-yearly UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

RAC awarded a Which? Best Buy for Breakdown Cover – August 2010

RAC Insurance has also been awarded the Best Overall Vehicle Insurance Provider 2010/11 by

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's sixth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

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*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours. ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.

About the RAC

First formed in 1897, the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of drivers for more than 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistanceinsurancebuying a used carvehicle inspections and checkslegal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK drivers at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – is one of a kind and provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump - and tracks these prices daily to help drivers check if the price they pay to fill up is a fair one.