’Driving habits are changing across the UK as consumers look to cut down on unnecessary journeys,’ says chief executive 

Rising costs associated with owning and operating a car has resulted in one in seven motorists consider giving up driving over the next 12 months, research from The Green Insurer has revealed.

Published yesterday (4 January 2024), the data showed that increased costs were a real concern for over a half (51%) of drivers, with motorists describing themselves as “very worried” (11%) or “quite worried” (40%) that this would force them to stop driving and give up their car.

And 2% of respondents said they had already taken the decision to give up driving due to increased insurance premiums.

Premiums rose throughout 2023, with pricing specialist Pearson Ham noting on 9 November 2023 that prices rose 48% in the year to October 2023, with motorists getting an average insurance quote of £577 during the month as a result.

The Green Insurer warned that rising costs was “impacting heavily on the lives of many”.

“Driving habits are changing across the UK as consumers look to cut down on unnecessary journeys,” Paul Baxter, chief executive of The Green Insurer, added.

Stretching truth

A sample of 1,135 adults aged 18 and above, which included 888 car owners, were surveyed for the research between 17 and 20 November 2023.

The data also revealed that two in five (40%) said that giving up their car may result in them having to change or give up their current job.

Meanwhile, some 18% of motorists felt the surrender of their car would decrease their own independence or that of someone they care for, while 24% admitted that they currently depend heavily on their car for their social life and to see family and friends.

“Our findings reveal that many people still rely heavily on their cars to enable them to work or to continue their role as a carer for someone,” Baxter said.

The data also revealed that around one in five car owners, in an attempt to lower their car insurance premiums, acknowledged resorting to deceptive practices or withholding specific information during the renewal process.

This included understating annual mileage (9%), falsely claiming a garage housing for the car (5%), inaccurately asserting that the car is never used for work (4%) and assigning the car insurance to a driver with characteristics that attract a lower premium (4%).

The Green Insurer

The Green Insurer, which launched on 6 December 2023, offers eco-friendly, carbon-offset driven car insurance to UK drivers and rewards policyholders for sustainable driving habits.

Customers are able to purchase policies via its website or price comparison websites and all customer enquiries will be dealt with via staff in the UK.

Baxter explained that “at a time of rapidly rising premiums” the firm’s car insurance policies cut insurance costs “by negotiating special deals with insurers”.

“We also offer customers rewards for environmentally friendly driving and discounts on weekly supermarket shopping through a range of partnerships,” he added.