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Are Motorists Losing That Driving Habit?

Are Motorists Losing That Driving Habit?

The price of the fuel we buy can be affected by many things: The quantity the oil producing nations decide to release depending on how they are feeling; the volatile nature of some of these same countries and, of course, the avaricious behaviour of speculators who care not one jot for the people whose lives are so radically affected by their greed. Oh, and the government, who are so bereft of economic ideas that they continually fall back on the old ploy of caning the motorist. August 2012 wolud have seen another 3p of tax added to our woes, but they’ve bottled out of that one.

At the time of writing this however, petrol prices have dropped a bit which is good news for drivers – on the face of it – but it’s not going to last. If someone coughs somewhere in the Middle East the cost of fuel will go up faster than a Saturn rocket as speculators panic and rush to pass on the costs to you and me, thus increasing the government’s revenue. Again.

Up until recently, people seem to have had a major cognitive disconnect between their personal consumption habits and the price of petrol. It’s something of an irony that those with the thirstiest cars may well contribute to the higher prices. It’s supply and demand. Simply put, higher demand for fuel leads to higher prices at the pump.

The choices that people make regarding the fuel efficiency of their motors have a direct impact on the total demand for juice. Now, there’s a growing realisation that if a person’s lifestyle is severely curtailed by rising fuel prices then they really shouldn’t be driving gas-guzzlers. There are enough fuel-efficient cars on the market to allow people to make better decisions about how they get around.

Although public transport would seem to be one answer, the reality is that it is just the domain of the commuter and the urban shuttle bus user and can prove to be very expensive. To go about our lives in the random way that we do means changing the very lifestyle structure we are used to.

In short, we’re cutting back on travel. For example, as little as one hundred years ago people moved about a lot less. The only journey of any distance was, perhaps, the annual holiday – if you could afford one. A bit like now, as it happens. In a recent survey by a well known retail company, some 41% of those polled stated that they are walking and cycling more. It also showed that many people in the UK are seeing their driving state-of-mind change and instead of visiting relatives or a stately home in their leisure time are staying at home and doing the chores and shopping online instead of driving to the soulless shopping malls.

By buying very efficient, smaller cars or EV’s and using them less – alternatively choosing to walk or cycle – the supply and demand chain is broken. If a seller can’t shift product he reduces the price. Could this really be the start of a less petrol dependent society? We’ll have to tell the Chancellor! He could raise the tax on bikes!

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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