Its been 28 years since I passed my test, and 25 years since I started driving professionally. In that time a lot has changed on the roads so I was interested when The RAC published the 25th edition of its annual report on motoring.
So, what has actually changed in motoring since their first report in 1989? ……..
In 1989, when the RAC produced its first annual report on motoring, the average cost of unleaded petrol was 38.5p per litre and diesel cost 36.1p per litre.
Fast forward to 2013 and a litre of unleaded costs 134.2p, while the same amount of diesel will set you back 138.9p – a whopping increase of 264 per cent. Wow!!
It’s no wonder that 61 per cent of motorists say the rising cost of motoring is the most noticeable change over the past quarter-century.
Cost is the main concern for 46 per cent of motorists, with the price of fuel a particular worry for those living in rural and suburban areas.
You can work out the changing cost of filling up your motor with Confused.com’s fuel prices calculator.
Some 14 per cent of drivers say they are being forced to restrict their social lives due to rising motoring expenses, up from 9 per cent who voiced this concern in 2012.
Tax continues to be a sore subject with drivers – almost half of motorists- 47 per cent – believe high taxes are used to deter them from using their car.
And 90 per cent of motorists believe they are hit by high taxes because they are easy targets for the government.
10 million more vehicles on the road
In 1989, there were 24.2 million licensed vehicles on the roads, but by the end of 2012 that number had grown to 34.5 million.
It’s no wonder that many of Britain’s motorists feel they’re going nowhere fast.
Some 45 per cent of drivers surveyed for the RAC’s report on motoring think that gridlocked roads will be the norm in the next 25 years.
And 22 per cent of motorists say increased congestion on motorways and in urban centres is a growing issue in Britain today.
Meanwhile, 20 per cent believe the increase in traffic levels has made it harder than ever to find a parking space.
According to research by sat nav firm TomTom, Belfast and Bristol are the most congested cities in the UK, with London coming in third.
Most popular cars: 1989 versus 2013
In 1989, Ford dominated the bestselling cars list, with the five most popular models being the Ford Escort, Ford Sierra, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Cavalier, and the Vauxhall Astra.
Today, Ford is still in pole position – At the end of 2012, the most common car in Great Britain was the Ford Focus (1.4 million on the road) followed by the Ford Fiesta (1.3 million).
Ford accounts for 15 per cent and Vauxhall for 12 per cent of all cars on our roads today.
Decline in motorists’ manners
The behaviour of other drivers is deemed to have deteriorated over the years.
Two-thirds – 65 per cent – think road rage has got worse instead of better, and 62 per cent believe the courtesy of other drivers has slipped.
The behaviour of other drivers on the road today is also highlighted with 28 per cent of motorists’ claiming driving is more aggressive than it was in 1989.
Motorists’ predictions in 1989
Motorists’ predictions for 2038
I wonder what the next 25 years will being?
This article was written by Sarah-H