The mood of the nation’s motorists revealed

20th March 2013

Drivers in the UK are waiting anxiously to see what strategies chancellor George Osborne has in mind when he opens his iconic red briefcase and reveals the details of the 2013 Budget later today (March 20th).

In order to gain a good understanding of the thoughts of the nation’s motorists ahead of the announcements, What Car? has carried out its pre-Budget survey of 2013.

One eye-catching point that has emerged from the study is that 65 per cent of British drivers see their beloved car as being an essential part of their lives, with another 27 per cent believing their vehicle to be very important to their livelihood.

With these figures in mind, it should not be too surprising to read then that 77 per cent of the survey’s respondents are strongly opposed to the government raising petrol duty. Meanwhile, 66 per cent of motorists had the same attitude about the coalition increasing the Road Fund Licence – otherwise known as road tax or Vehicle Excise Duty.

In spite of all of this, 46 per cent of motorists involved in the research said they wouldn't reconsider who they will vote for in the next general election if the 2013 Budget means they have to spend more money to keep their car on the road.

This will make for particularly good reading for David Cameron and his Conservative Party, seeing as though 37 per cent of respondents to What Car?’s latest pre-Budget survey said that they would vote for the blue party if there was a sudden general election tomorrow.

However, the other half of the coalition, the Liberal Democrats, may not feel as optimistic when they hear about the survey’s results. This is because only three per cent of drivers stated that they would vote for Nick Clegg and his party if a general election was to take place right now.

Despite the apparent strong support for the Conservatives, What Car?’s survey is not all about singing the praises of David Cameron, George Osborne and company.

In fact, when respondents were asked for their response to the statement “the government sees taxing motorists as an easy way to increase revenue”, 67 per cent strongly agreed with this opinion and another 28 per cent agreed.

On the flip side, just four per cent of motorists either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this suggested tactic on the part of the coalition.

Picking up on a host of these aforementioned statistics, Chas Hallett, the editor-in-chief of What Car?, noted: “The What Car? pre-Budget survey highlights the fact that the motorist is vehemently against more tax rises.

“A full 96 per cent of survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the government sees taxing motorists as an easy way to increase revenue.”

There was an obvious split in concerns to one possible announcement coming out of the 2013 Budget though – that of the matter of raising employees’ company car tax.

When What Car? questioned whether or not drivers would like to see such a measure be set in stone later today, 32 per cent were either strongly in favour of or tended to favour the announcement. However, another 33 per cent would be opposed or strongly opposed to such a strategy.

ATS Euromaster has a nationwide network of centres if you feel like your car is in need of a service in order to keep it on the road.

Posted by Danielle Barge