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RAC

3.1 Reducing motoring costs

There are a huge range of actions that can be taken to reduce motoring costs - some having a positive effect such as finding a better deal on insurance, others a potentially more negative effect such as waiting longer between servicing.

Over the last 12 months:

77% have shopped around for car insurance - 69% for economic or personal reasons - and saved an average £106.

46% have cut down on short distance journeys - 32% for economic or personal reasons and 11% for environmental reasons - saving an average £100.

53% walk more leaving the car at home - 36% for economic and personal reasons and 11% for environmental ones - saving £79.

19% have downsized in terms of the size of their vehicle - 13% for economic and personal reasons - saving £366.

20% have downsized in terms of the engine size of their car - 14% for economic and personal reasons - saving £318.

11% are car sharing more, using car club services such as Zip Car and Street Car or more informal car shares often incentivised by added work benefits such as preferential parking. 7% said they did this for economic and personal reasons - saving £119.

The less positive side to motorists' economy drive is they are taking action that could put their lives at risk.

This year almost a quarter have serviced or repaired their own vehicle to save money - saving an average of £162. But with cars becoming increasingly complex it is not always possible to rectify faults without using information stored by the on-board computer, much of which can only be accessed at a repair garage.

The rise in DIY repairs contrasts sharply with last year's findings which showed only 12% serviced their own cars, or got a friend or relative to do it for them.

In tandem, nearly a third of motorists are waiting longer between services to save an average of £127. 12% have cancelled their breakdown cover to save around £57 a year and 15% have reduced the level of breakdown cover they buy, saving £45. But motorists who economise on servicing their vehicles are more likely to breakdown. If they have also economised on their breakdown cover they face a large bill for towing their car to a garage or for a roadside repair. Cutting back on servicing and breakdown cover then becomes a false economy and one the motorist will potentially live to regret.

3.2 Future savings

3.0 Motorists and the economy