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18 March 2022

High fuel prices result in changing habits

Driving less or switching to electric? How far will you go to decrease your fuel bill?

Struggling to afford to fill your car? You’re not alone.

We surveyed 390 Consumer NZ supporters on how the rising petrol prices are affecting them.

Of those surveyed, 81% report that they are driving less because of rising fuel prices. And when they do drive, they’ve changed how they do so. 41% have started watching their air-con use, 39% are trying to drive more smoothly and 34% are reducing their speed, while 12% of respondents say they’ve started carpooling.

A third of the people surveyed are considering making the switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle to save money on fuel. Many consumers were leaning towards EVs as their next vehicle of choice prior to the high fuel prices too.

High fuel prices result in changing habits

Long gone are the days of a full tank; 66% of respondents have changed the way they fill their vehicle at the pump. Instead, many are opting for small top-ups, as and when they need it. Though 37% say they try to fill up the tank when they’re able to, anticipating further price rises on the horizon.

Our survey also shows many New Zealanders are willing to go out of their way to find a cheaper gas price, but only so far.

A third would be willing to travel up to 10km out of their way to get cheaper fuel while 38% would travel only up to 5km out of their way. However, 10% would be willing to go more than 10km in order to top up their tanks for a lower price.

On 14 March the government announced its cost of living relief package, including cutting fuel taxes by 25¢ a litre and halving public transport fares for the next three months in response to the global energy crisis.

Source: Consumer NZ Fuel Price Poll; 12-16 March 2022, n=390 respondents.

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