Pessimistic Irish motorists are expecting fuel costs to rise again within the next year, as fewer motorists are filling their tanks.
According to a survey of over 1,000 drivers carried out by Empathy Research on behalf of Skoda, just over half of those surveyed earlier this summer indicated that they expected fuel prices to rise by 10-15% within the next 12 months.
The survey also saw an increase in those predicting a fall in fuel prices, from 10% to 16%.
The study found the older the motorist, the savvier they are, with the percentage choosing to fill their tanks to the brim when visiting the pump increasing with age. Under half of motorists (44%) filled their tank at the forecourt in 2012, down slightly from 2011 (48%), while just one in four purchase a set value, an increase of 3% on last year.
Only one in five of those aged 18 to 24 filled their tanks when they visited a filling station in 2012, in contrast to just over half of those aged 45 and over. Younger participants (26%) and women (15%) were more likely to fill the tank with whatever cash they had on them than men at 7%, with men more likely than women to fill the entire tank.
Over one quarter of respondents claim to use forecourt loyalty cards, with 25 to 34 year olds the most likely to have one, and 18 to 24 year olds the least. Surprisingly, 60% claimed to not notice any difference in having one. Forecourt spending continues to be affected by the lack of consumer spending with one in every four motorists not spending any additional money in forecourt shops and one fifth of those that do spending only €2.50.
In 2012 a quarter of participants checked their tyres every month and in spite of rising costs for motorists, over 80% said that they were willing to spend more on better quality tyres that would last longer.
Head of Marketing at Skoda, Raymond Leddy said Irish motorists are more conscious than ever when it comes to motoring.
“While fuel cost increases cannot be controlled, more prudent older purchasers will shop around to seek value. As a result we are experiencing more demand for our fuel efficient GreenLine range of vehicles as customers seek to offset rising fuel prices. On a more concerning safety level younger motorists are more likely to neglect vehicle maintenance and pay less attention to tyre condition,” he said.
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