Family roast at risk from petrol prices
Family get-togethers are being pushed to the wayside by the rising cost of motoring, reveals a new study from Hyundai.
Most under threat is the traditional Sunday Roast, with 6 in 10 families saying that they have missed out on the occasion. And it's parents who are losing out on family get-togethers the most - with 30% of Brits saying they simply cannot afford to visit mum and dad.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a fifth of men admitted that they would be happy to give their mother-in-law the boot, whilst almost 1 in 5 families admitted to cancelling visits to their grandparents.
The study revealed that the average family now spends £756 travelling 1,068 miles to visit relatives every year. Petrol costs have soared from an average of 87.9p to 134.1p over the last five years, a massive 53%. These rising costs have led to 2 in 5 drivers ruling out any kind of trip to see relatives living over 150 miles away. But Hyundai's research reveals the closest family member for one in ten respondents lives over 100 miles away.
The study was conducted as part of Hyundai’s research into the cost of motoring and its effects on driver habits. The Hyundai i20 offers fuel economy up to 88.3mpg and just 84 g/km of CO2, as well as a 5* NCAP safety rating, offering families a way to cut their fuel costs.
Feedback from drivers showed that families are losing out in other areas of their lives just to afford a visit. 35% said that they cut back on family nights out to pay for fuel, whilst incredibly 14% even admitted to cutting back on food to run their vehicle.
Driving standards were also revealed to have been dramatically affected. 1 in 5 drivers said that they regularly turned their ignition off in traffic, whilst worryingly 27% of drivers even admitted to letting their car freewheel down hills to save on petrol – a practice that is both dangerous and illegal.
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai UK, said: “The research gave us a great insight into the issues drivers face. We were especially surprised to learn that one in ten drivers would even cut out Christmas visits to relatives due to the cost. Fuel economy is really important to Hyundai and lots of work goes into the continual improvement of the efficiency of our products, which should help keep family ties strong.”
Despite personal cutbacks, travelling by car is still essential for many families. Over half of those surveyed said they travel the same amount as they always have, despite the cost, and 14% admitted to travelling by car more than ever.
Train travel was, perhaps surprisingly, the most popular alternative to car travel, with 43% of respondents saying they would choose it over a road trip, despite the fact that some season tickets are set to cost £1,000 more in 2015 than they were in 2011. But 1 in 4 families said that despite rising motoring costs, they would still always travel by car.
Experts at Hyundai have compiled their top 5 tips for economical driving to help families save money and keep in touch:
1 - Limit heavy acceleration - Don’t accelerate harshly, as this uses a lot of fuel at once. Instead, move off gently and smoothly to your target speed and maintain it for maximum miles per gallon.
2 - Use the gears sensibly - Correct use of gears can make huge savings on your fuel bill. Make sure you change up into a higher gear as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.
3 - Read the road ahead - Try to look ahead and read the conditions of the road - look out for anything that might require you to slow down or stop. By anticipating what is coming up, you'll not only be a safer driver, but you'll save fuel by starting to slow down early and not needing to come to a complete stop.
4 - Keep the car serviced - Clogged up sparkplugs and dirty oil can increase fuel consumption, so ensure your car is serviced regularly.
5 - Check your tyres - Make sure you check your tyre pressures regularly. Under-inflated tyres increase resistance and therefore more engine power will be required. Keep them pumped up in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for the maximum miles per gallon.