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Family Fuel Crisis: 1 in 4 Brits are cancelling half term travel plans due to petrol concerns

The petrol ‘crisis’ has dominated the news for the last few weeks, and whilst there are signs that the situation is improving (with the Army being drafted in to drive petrol tankers) there are still queues and caps on spending at many petrol stations across the UK.

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Petrol pump with no petrol Petrol pump with no fuel

Social media is also awash, with people talking about cancelling road trips to see family and friends due to concerns about being able to fill up. Additionally, with half term just a few weeks away, there is growing concern that staycations and road trips will need to be cancelled. 

The experts at Uswitch surveyed 2000 Brits to find out their current attitudes towards car travel and trips, and it seems many of us are already postponing plans to see family, and cancelling breaks ahead of the half term to save fuel in our tanks. 

  • More than 1 in 4 brits are not visiting family due to the petrol crisis 

  • Over 1 in 4 are now cancelling half term staycations 

  • Overall, 36% of drivers have changed plans or will change plans due to the HGV shortage 

Which areas in the UK are people cancelling plans the most? 

The top 5 cities where people have or are going to change their plans due to HGV shortage are:

Top tips for how to save on fuel 

Accelerate smoothly 

How you drive can have a big impact on how much petrol or diesel you use. Try to keep your driving smooth. Being gentle on your acceleration and using the highest gear safely, will use less fuel.

Don’t carry around unnecessary weight

Heavy loads such as roof racks and bike racks when not in use, will have an impact on your vehicle's fuel consumption. Remove them when you’re  not using them, and get rid of any unnecessary loads you may be carrying during trips. 

Check tyre pressure

The air pressure in your tyres supports the entire weight of your car. The lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel the car needs to move it down the road, plus it’s a legal requirement. Drivers should take five minutes every fortnight to check their tyres. If you're not sure what the pressure should be, you can find the figures near the lock inside the driver's door.

Avoid cruise control 

Not many drivers realise that cruise control only supports fuel economy when driving on a flat surface, which is why it’s best reserved for motorway driving.

Using cruise control regularly, not on flat roads, will increase your fuel consumption.

Change your air filters 

Air filters prevent dirt and other substances from getting into your vehicle’s engine. Dirty air filters cause your car to work harder than it has too, which means more fuel is used.

Follow your car's manufacturer’s guidelines to help boost your fuel economy.

Car insurance expert Florence Codjoe advises: 

“It’s sad to hear that people are missing out on seeing family and friends due to the petrol and HGV driver's situation. Whilst the circumstances change day by day in each area, it’s  important to know there are some simple and effective ways you can reduce your fuel consumption, that might help you get more miles in with the fuel you already have in the tank.

If you’re thinking of hiring a car, opting for an electric vehicle could be the safest option, to avoid having to refuel on the journey. It’s also a good option for those who are environmentally conscious, regardless of issues with fuel.“

It’s also a good idea to check your car insurance and check your MOT before heading out on a long journey if you do decide to.