Cost of fuel spoiling summer fun

Tourist attractions are the latest victims of the rising cost of fuel, as increasing numbers of motorists decide not to take days out in their cars because of the rising cost of filling up their tanks.

Earlier in July it was reported that fuel sales were down by around a billion litres, showing the impact that the price of petrol and diesel is having on personal travelling habits. The issue is compounded by the rises in inflation and the consumer prices index, compared with a real-terms decrease in pay for many ordinary people.

The bottom line is that 68% of users who responded to a poll on the Motorpoint website said that increased costs at the pump would stop them visiting the kind of tourist attractions that they would normally head to during the summer months, while 31% vowed to carry on regardless.

From January to March, fuel sales figures dropped by 15.2% for petrol and 6% for diesel relative to the same period in pre-recession 2008. It’s likely that the number of company cars and commercial vehicles on the road has held diesel sales steadier than they might have been, but even with many aspects of the employment and economic scenes having improved in the last twelve months, petrol sales were still 3.7% down on last year’s figures. Diesel sales, despite having dropped significantly since 2008, were 0.5% higher this year than they were at the same time last year.

David Shelton, the Managing Director of Motorpoint, says the survey’s conclusions are disappointing. “We think it’s sad to see that some people won’t be visiting some of the great attractions available in the UK this year due to the rising costs of fuel preventing them from making the sometimes necessary longer journeys to get there,” he said.

People looking for a cheaper car to buy and run could look at the diesel Smart ForTwo, which returns over 85mpg on the combined cycle, or for something bigger there’s the surprisingly spacious Fiat Panda, which as a 1.3 diesel can average over 67mpg.

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