OVER half of Irish motorists expect fuel prices to increase by 10-15% in the next year, according to the Skoda Ireland Motoring Costs Insights report published this week. The Skoda Ireland report surveyed approx 900 Irish motorists over the age of 18 and examined the running costs of vehicles for Irish drivers and revealed the typical spend on vehicle maintenance. 53% of those surveyed detailed that they have spent more on the running costs of their car in 2011 compared with last year.
The Skoda Ireland report also revealed the Irish motorists approach to fueling their vehicles varies considerably - almost half of participants (48%) fill their tank when they visit the petrol/diesel station with value top of mind. However over a third (37%) of motorists prefer to purchase a set value of petrol/diesel. Unsurprisingly the older generations are more focused on value with 51% of participants age 45+ appear choosing to fill their tank when they visit a petrol/diesel station compared to 30% of 18-24 year olds.
Casual forecourt spending has taken a hit as cost conscious Irish consumers avoid impulse purchasing with almost one in every four motorists not spending any money in the petrol station shop. On the other hand 44% of motorists are prepared to spend anything up to €10 at a time. The impact of the downturn is also apparent with 38% of Irish motorists opting not to spend any money on car washing and a further 28% prepared to spend only €5 or less on each wash.
The survey revealed that car maintenance behaviour patterns differ according to gender. Men are more likely to maintain their car on a regular basis with a third of males checking their tyres every month compared to only a quarter of women. 32% of females will get someone else to check their tyres while unsurprisingly only 4% of men revealed that they would ask someone else to check their tyres.
Despite consumers spending cautiously, environmental and safety concerns remain a priority for motorists. Over three quarters of participants said that they would spend more on their tyres if they were better quality, lasted longer or were safer. Of those participants who said they were willing to spend more on their tyres if they were safer, more than half said they would spend up to 10-15% extra.
Similarly, one in every three Leinster motorists said that they would spend more on the purchase price of a car if they knew it would benefit the environment. This varies significantly amongst the sexes with women demonstrating a greener conscience as 71% admitted a willingness to pay more for an environmentally friendly vehicle compared to just 59% of men. Leinster motorists are quite punctual around vehicle servicing with nearly three quarters of Leinster motorists (76%) having their car serviced annually. More than half of participants (54%) were willing to pay €150 for a car service while 23% said they spend as little as they possibly can on a service.
Breakdown assistance & Parking
Similarly, Leinster motorists do not place emphasis on breakdown assistance as over half of participants (56%) are not a member of a breakdown assistance provider. Amongst participants who had breakdown assistance, almost three quarters (71%) paid nothing for this service as it was included in their insurance or vehicle warranty package. Those aged 45+ were most likely to invest in breakdown assistance services (51%).
Irish motorists tend to comply with parking regulations as the majority of participants (87%) have not been clamped or received a parking ticket in the last year. Of those who have had to pay a parking fine or a car clamp (13%), more than two fifths (38%) have paid under €50. Parking tickets and car clamping was highest amongst younger drivers (15%) aged 18-24.
Irish motorists are not spending a significant amount on parking as over half of participants (51%) do not spend any money on weekly parking. Just over two fifths of Leinster participants (43%) spent under €10 per week on parking.
Raymond Leddy, Marketing Manager of Skoda commented on these findings: “Motorists are now more conscious of the environment and are prepared to seek out more economical vehicles even at additional expense. Worryingly on the maintenance side younger motorists tend to have less interest in the condition of their tyres and on routine servicing of their vehicle. Currently all Skoda Retailers are running a free no-obligation safety and technical inspection on all Skoda vehicles.”