07 Aug 2023
Almost one in five motorists (18%) are no longer “brimming” their tank when they fill up with petrol or diesel thanks to rising mortgage and rent costs.
The impact of high housing expenditure on personal finances also means 12% have stopped using their car altogether while 10% want to swap their current model for one that costs less to run - and 5% may have to sell their car altogether.
August’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows that in total, half of motorists (50%) say that they are using their car less because of the situation surrounding mortgage and rent costs.
Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “With the base rate rising again this month, housing costs for those that own or rent their home remain historically high.
“Our research shows this is having a direct impact on the way they use their cars and even whether they can afford to use them at all. To us, the one in five who say they are no longer filling up completely at the pumps is the most telling and emotive indicator of how people are being affected. They are having to eke out their money on a week-by-week, day-by-day basis just in order to live and drive to work, school and make other essential journeys.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker also indicated that around one in five people (21%) are using public transport more because of high housing costs.
Paul added: “We’re unlikely to see substantial falls in interest rates for some time to come while high rents are very much a result of a general lack of housing, which is a problem that can’t be resolved quickly, even if political will was found.
“It could be that we are seeing a process where high housing costs are causing some people to move permanently out of their car and onto trains and buses. If this was an active choice they were making, that would be a positive, but it looks to be very much the result of their personal finances coming under more and more pressure.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 335 consumers and 51 dealers were questioned.