Wednesday, 2 January 2008 12:00 AM
Car owners are increasingly leaving their vehicles at home, following fuel prices breaking through the £1 per litre barrier at the beginning of November.
According to a poll of motorists carried out by online vehicle retailer Motorpoint, up to a third of UK motorists have reduced the distances travelled in their cars since prices began to rise.
The research counters the perception cost-burdened British motorists will continue to soldier on regardless of increasing costs.
Almost two-thirds of the cost of petrol and diesel is made up of tax, which is set to rise by a further 2p per litre in April, angering some sections of the motoring community.
During December hauliers, farmers and motorists staged small-scale demonstrations outside oil refineries across Britain, in response to the government's decision not to cut fuel duty.
However, the scale of the protests paled in comparison to the widespread unrest seen during the 2002 fuel protests.
"These findings show that now a lot of motorists are literally voting with their feet," said Motorpoint's operations director Paul Winfield.
He added: "It is possible to keep fuel costs to a minimum by shopping around. Within ten miles of Motorpoint's Derby headquarters there are 57 service stations.
"On the day we checked, their prices for a litre of unleaded fuel varied from 99.9p to 113.9p - a staggering difference of 14p in what is supposed to be an ultra-competitive market."