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Motorists Cut Down on Driving Time to Cope With High Fuel Costs

February 6, 2013

CHESTER, England, February 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

        - Almost half of people have reduced the amount they drive, or stopped
          completely
        - Fight back says MoneySupermarket! Top tips on how drivers can combat rising
          costs

The huge cost of running a car is proving too much of a strain on household budgets,
and is forcing drivers to cut back on the amount they drive or stop driving completely,
according to MoneySupermarket.com [http://www.moneysupermarket.com ].

The UK’s number one comparison site asked people if another increase in petrol prices
would change the way they drive. Two fifths (43 per cent) said they have already taken
action and reduced the amount they drive, and six per cent have stopped driving
completely. Almost a fifth (18 per cent) make sure they drive more fuel efficiently, and
six per cent have switched cars to a cost effective eco model. Fourteen per cent have
taken no action and not changed their driving habits at all.

Clare Francis, consumer finance expert at MoneySupermarket.com, commented: “Keeping a
car on the road is an absolute necessity for millions of families across the country -
sadly it’s also a wallet-busting drain on household finances. But people can fight back
against sky-high fuel prices as there are ways to save money, helping ease the pressure on
their finances.

“Shop around for the best deal on the forecourt to make sure you aren’t paying over
the odds for your fuel; type your postcode into PetrolPrices.com to find the cheapest
options in your area. Supermarkets tend to have competitively priced fuel, so it could be
well worth driving a few extra miles to get the best price particularly if it’s Tesco or
Sainsbury’s as you can then earn Clubcard or Nectar points too. And look out for the
cut-price fuel offers that pop up regularly if you spend above a certain amount on at the
supermarket.”

Reduce the cost of running a car

Motorists can also cut back on the overall cost of driving by shopping around when
purchasing or renewing their car insurance. Analysis from MoneySupermarket found average
premiums are around eight per cent cheaper than this time last year which means there are
savings to be found.[2] Drivers should also think about how they want to pay for their
premium; most insurers charge more if customers choose to pay monthly rather than one lump
sum. Opting for monthly repayments means drivers can expect to pay on average an
additional 10.75 per cent to the cost of the original premium.[3]

Clare Francis continued: “It’s always worth shopping around when your car insurance
[http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance ] is up for renewal but is more important
than ever now given the financial strain many households are paying. With average savings
of GBP300 a year to be had, why pay more than you need for cover? While it is usually
cheaper to pay for your car insurance in one go, many people simply can’t afford to do
this at the moment. If this is the case, they should compare the monthly prices because
the amount of interest charged varies between insurers. Therefore, the provider with the
cheapest annual price, may be the best value if you need to pay monthly.”

Top tips to beat high fuel costs

        - Convert to LPG - converting your car to LPG will slash what you spend on
          fuel. Not only is it cheaper, but it's a cleaner-burning fuel that is better for your
          engine and the environment. Fitting a secondary fuel tank will cost around GBP1,500
          but you could earn back the cost of the modification in about 14 months.
        - Shed the extra weight - the heavier the car, the more fuel it consumers so
          offload any unnecessary items kept in the boot to cut costs.
        - Regular service - getting your car regularly serviced will mean it will not
          only last longer but be more fuel efficient.
        - Plan ahead - carefully planning your route means you can avoid busy roads and
          possibly lengthy spells sat in the traffic - idling equates to zero miles per gallon.
        - Wrap up in winter - winter driving can increase engine workload by up to three
          per cent as 'warm-up' idling and increased use of heaters all put extra strain on the
          engine. Cut this down by covering windscreens on winter nights, and turn off
          unnecessary car electrics.
        - Adapt your driving - save money by cutting back on engine revs and accelerate
          smoothly. Try to shift up to higher gears as soon as possible as lower gears usually
          mean higher fuel consumption. Keep gear changes as smooth as possible and avoid sharp
          acceleration and braking.
        - Don't drive as much - big savings can be made by cutting down the number of
          you miles you drive. Try car-sharing, and combining several errands in one trip to
          help cut down on fuel costs and reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle.

Notes to editors:

[1]Webpoll results (as of 06/02/13):

Would another increase in petrol prices make you change the way you drive?

        - Yes - I no longer drive as running costs are too high - 6%
        - Yes - I now share a car with others in my household - 3.7%
        - Yes - I've reduced the amount I drive - 43.3%
        - Yes - I've changed to drive more fuel efficiently - 18.2%
        - Yes - I've switched to a cost effective eco model - 6.6%
        - No - I can still just about afford it - 8%
        - No - I've not changed my driving habits at all - 14.1%

Total votes: 2581

[2]As of 13th January 2013.

[3]On average the percentage increase to the original cost of an annual policy by
paying an insurer in monthly instalments (based on the insurer’s APR) is 10.75. per cent -
based on a selection of car insurance providers

MoneySupermarket.com compares (at 27th Dec 2012)

        - 134 car insurance brands and 97 home insurance brands
        - 9 broadband providers and 20 energy providers
        - 31 unsecured loan and 5 secured loan providers
        - 62 mortgage lenders and 26 credit card providers
        - 63 savings providers and 38 current account providers.
        - Over 650,000 mobile phone deals

Our customers

We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a
free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place
and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our
customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can’t even get direct from
providers.

Our providers

By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and
ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer
acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target
their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.

Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a
customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product.
It is a success based marketing fee.

Our customer commitment

        - We make it easy to find the brands you expect to see
        - We strive to ensure a product cannot be found cheaper by going direct
        - We let you remain in control of your personal data
        - We are independent and impartial
        - We make it easy to switch and save
        - We strive to always show the most competitive product available

        For further information, please contact:

        MoneySupermarket Press office
        +44(0)1244-370318
        PRteam@moneysupermarket.com

SOURCE MoneySupermarket.com


Source: PR Newswire