New statistics reveal many drivers feel locked into car ownership (Picture courtesy of Bike is Best)

New Bike is Best research reveals many British motorists feel trapped in car ownership

New research from cycle advocacy campaign Bike is Best has revealed that many UK motorists feel locked into car ownership.

The nationally representative study, based on a survey of 2,000 adults in November 2022, found that 47% of people said they feel they have no alternative to owning a car.

These stats on attitudes towards car ownership come as the cost of driving continues to rise amidst the cost of living crisis, as petrol prices increase and transport strikes have impacted travel. 

Scott Purchas, spokesperson for Bike is Best said: “As the UK endures the cost of living crisis, there’s no escaping the fact that our entrenched car culture is locking people in to spending significant portions of their income on transport. UK motorists with some form of car finance spend 19% of their total annual gross income on their car; new investment in infrastructure will give people genuine choice about how they travel which is incredibly important at this difficult time.”

He added: “Modes of transport that are efficient, sustainable and don’t break the bank should win out – not least because half the population see the bike or e-bike as an alternative to the car or public transport.” 

Bike is Best is a national cycle advocacy campaign, run by Adam Tranter and his Fusion Media PR agency, that unites cycle brands, retailers and organisations to promote active travel through ad campaigns and research. 

The initiative is backed by British Cycling, Cycling UK, London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans, The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) and Wheels For Wellbeing.  

According to the latest research, 71% of Brits state they’ll expect to always be car owners despite the rising costs associated with owning a car and the cost of living crisis. 

Meanwhile 48% of people say they can not afford a bike even though it’s a preferred alternative to the car or public transport. 

The research also reveals that higher earners, women, and those in their 30s and early 40s are more likely to expect that they will always be car owners, but 57% of British women state that they are worried about the cost of motoring.

For car finance, UK motorists with some form of it spend 19% of their total annual gross income on their car. 

Those with car finance are more likely to be interested in buying a bike via a finance plan, or via a subscription with 68% of the British population confirming an interest in the cycle to work concept. 

Bike is Best has previously called for subsidies for e-bikes to improve access to cycling, as well as continued funding for cycling infrastructure. 

Read more: Bike.Rent Manager launches new platform with aim of becoming ‘Booking.com of the bike industry’

For cycling finance, the amount people are willing to pay on cycling comes in at £39/month (£467/year). This represents 1% of gross annual salary, compared to 13% of salary spent on motoring. 

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