One minute motorists frittering fuel

Petrol pumpPA

We're all up in arms about the cost of fuel - and rightly so. With the level of duty pushing the cost into the stratosphere, filling up the car costs roughly the same as a cheap holiday. However, while we complain about the price of petrol, and make cutbacks elsewhere to afford it, a survey has revealed we are also wasting a small fortune on unnecessary car journeys.

So what are the main crimes of the one-minute motorists?

Short trips

According to Santander Credit Cards, 30% of motorists still regularly use their cars for journeys of less than half a mile, which is 11.4 million drivers starting the car for pointless trips, and spending £1.1 million a week on these journeys between them. Meanwhile, a shocking 2.4 million do five or more of these trips every week.

One in three of them feel guilty as a result - and well they might. Short trips use proportionally more fuel, because starting up forms a major part of the journey. At the same time short trips are arguably easily replaceable with a short walk.

Blame game

Those who refuse to feel bad about the waste of resources and money are looking to pass the buck. Some 32% said they would use public transport more often if it was more convenient, and 25% said they would if it was cheaper.

However, this is missing the point that if the journey is less than half a mile it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to walk it - and who doesn't have 15 minutes to spare if they really want to save money and do their bit for the environment?

You could argue that not everyone finds walking so easy, but when you consider that younger drivers are far more likely to make these shorter trips, then that argument seems a bit hollow too.

The solution

Its laziness and disorganisation that lies at the heart of these trips.

The answer is therefore to grow a backbone and head out in the depths of winter for a bit of character building, rather than slink off to the warm confines of the car.

Failing that, we can embrace our inner sloth, follow the example of one in ten of those who replied to this survey, and consider selling your car for a more economical model.
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