By Max Clarke

Half of drivers are cutting back on car journeys for financial reasons as fuel duty and taxes, coupled with the soaring price of oil, are making driving prohibitively expensive for the UK’s motorists.

For rural residents, the problem is more serious as higher vehicle dependency will essentially isolate those who cannot afford to drive, note the RAC in their 23rd annual Report on Motoring.

“This year’s Report on Motoring shows the tough choices being made by many motorists, “ said Adrian Tink, RAC motoring strategist, “with rural drivers hit the hardest as they have little alternative but to use their cars.

“Peoples’ ability to live their lives and do the most basic of tasks, such as visit family and take their children to after school activities, is being threatened — and it looks like it’s only going to get worse.

The Report also predicts the financial impact is going to get worse, leaving people who depend on their car potentially feeling isolated as they can no longer afford their social lives or carry out family commitments - 44% of these drivers say they could only maintain their current social life using their car. For rural motorists, this figure rises to 62%. And for those who taxi their kids around to school and social activities, the car is a necessity for 52% of people — rising to 60% for rural drivers.

“UK drivers want action from the Government,” continued Tink. “They already pay the highest duty and tax on fuel in Europe. At the very least, we are calling for fuel duty to be frozen and scheduled inflationary rises to be scrapped. In addition the Government should look again at the fair fuel stabiliser so that increased revenue from high oil prices can be passed back to drivers.”

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