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Motorists will hang on

vw-polo-world-car-of-the-yearMOTORISTS are planning to keep their cars for longer and drive less, research from BCA has found.

The auction firm’s research follows new figures from Ernst & Young ITEM Club revealing that the cost of a tank of petrol could hit £100 by 2015, putting further pressure on UK households.

The latest used car market report from BCA included a survey of 4,000 motorists.

This revealed that half of respondents felt that, at some point in time, the rising cost of fuel will force them to change to a more fuel-efficient car or alter their driving habits.

Around a fifth reached that point when fuel hit £1.30 per litre and by the time the price of fuel reaches the £1.50 per litre mark a further 15 per cent of car owners will be in a similar position. 39 per cent of respondents to the survey said they would cut fuel duty if they could influence the country’s transport and motoring strategy. 22 per cent said they would tackle the national fuel price.

‘Our research shows that fuel consumption remains the top priority for motorists, with 27 per cent saying they will be looking for better fuel economy on their next vehicle,’ said Tim Naylor of BCA. ‘With fuel prices expected to keep on climbing, we anticipate the current motoring trends to continue. For instance, the number of two-car households has fallen by five per cent in the last 12 months, as people look at ways to save.

‘Plus if the latest predictions are realised, the used car market is going to see demand surge for smaller, fuel-efficient cars, as families continue to downsize in a bid to stretch their budget further. We are already seeing demand for these cars outstrip supply, which means rising prices for low mileage, good quality stock.

‘With rising costs hitting households from every side and many wages frozen, it’s no wonder that two out of five motorists would like to see a cut in fuel duty. But rather than waiting for that unlikely change, car owners are changing how often they drive, as well as what they drive, in a bid to combat costs.’

About James Batchelor

Award-winning journalist James Batchelor is editor of Car Dealer Magazine. He also contributes to other motoring publications including AOL Cars.