Brits are Europe's biggest car lovers say Europcar

Half would consider cycling if they gave them up according to study

by Tom Henry   October 26, 2009  

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While a great effort is made on getting people in the UK out of their cars it would appear that, for the majority of Brits at least, they just love having their car too much. According to a new study by Europcar, 73 per cent love having their own car.

In the annual Europcar Observatory, an independent survey covering seven countries in Europe and more than 5000 drivers, this compares to 60 per cent in the rest of Europe. And when pushed to consider giving up a household car, 67 per cent said they just couldn’t do without their car compared to 61 per cent in Europe.

However it’s not all doom and gloom because due to the cost of owning a car 65 per cent are driving less and switching to other transport or walking for short journeys, and 63 per cent have changed the way they drive to conserve fuel while a third have opted to car share.

But when it comes to alternatives to using the car it would appear that two legs are better than two wheels. Around 95 per cent of Brits would walk more if they gave up their cars, where as just half would consider cycling, compared to two thirds of Europeans.

Catriona Lougher, marketing director for Europcar, said: “There’s no doubt that with the current transport infrastructure in the UK combined with a deeply ingrained mindset towards car ownership, parting the British motorist from their motor is no mean feat.”

In another victory for the car, but possibly not for the planet, energy saving campaigners Future Foundation, on behalf of Energy Saving Trust, recently released research showing that two-thirds of the UK population who travel just one or two miles every day choose to use their cars rather than walking, cycling or taking the bus.

 

2 user comments

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Why should having a car disallow anyone from cycling? Our family car performs a useful function. However it doesn't prevent my family from riding our bicycles and even allows us to travel distances to other locations where we can ride our bikes.

If this study asked people whether they would rather have a car OR a bicycle, then it's been based on a false/narrow minded premise.

We don't use our car a great deal, therefore it emits little CO2. It is also an old car and therefore the five tonnes of CO2 produced during its construction have now been dispersed, unlike that of a new car.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2195 posts]
27th October 2009 - 15:06

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I don't think it does, ORB, in any way. but what the survey highlights is the attitude gap between the UK and Europe. You have a car, but you don't *love* it by the sound of it. It's a tool, the right tool for some jobs and not for others. I've got a car too, and I treat it the same way: I'm writing this from my parents' house outside Colchester, somewhere we'd pretty seldom go without our own transport as it would involve either an expensive train journey with a schlep across the underground with two kids, or about 469 hours on a bus.

73% of Britons do love their cars though. People who love their cars drive them 200yds to the shops. they're not interested in any other form of transport and they certainly don't want the Government to use their money to subsidise or promote it. That's the problem.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7329 posts]
27th October 2009 - 20:20

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