Brits Spend Up To 19% Of Income On Cars, Stifling Active Travel And Causing Transport Poverty
A recent study by “Bike is Best” a cycling campaign group found that millions of Brits are trapped in transport poverty as fuel and associated costs rise.
On average people who own a car are spending 13% of their pre-tax income on the costs of ownership. This includes fuel, insurance, tax, and the costs of maintenance. Where people are paying for the car with a loan or on a finance deal the proportion rises to 19%. In the UK the threshold for transport poverty is 10% of pretax income. As the UK moves toward a ressesion and with record inflation levels these costs are only going to increase.
What is the alternative?
Cycling, as pointed out by Bike is Best is an obvious one, as is micromobility such as e-scooters, electric unicycles or even electric skateboards. HMRC figures show that over 1 million e-scooters have been sold in the UK over the last few years. That is 1 million people who could potentially use them instead of a car for some journeys, or even dispense with a car altogether…except they are currently illegal.
The non car infrastructure in the UK is still lagging behind other European countries. Cycle lanes which are poorly segregated from roads, poorly integrated at junctions and which often just end with no obvious way of continuing ones journey and roads in general which are in poor condition or where drainage / service covers are dangerously out of level with the road surface. These desperately need investment rather than the current reactive approach which prevails in most parts of the UK.
Of those who took part in the survey 47% of respondents felt that they had no alternative to car ownership and that 34% said they would cycle if they could pick a non driving or public transport alternative. This is a clear signpost that drivers are open to non car options and legalising micromobility would give drivers a viable alternative to their cars.