One in three people in Lancashire regularly use the car for short trips that could easily be completed on public transport or on foot, according to a new survey.
A poll of 2,000 residents in the North West by independent car buying site carwow has revealed that the convenience of hopping in the car even for the shortest trips is universally too tempting to resist, with 100% of those surveyed admitting they could opt for a leisurely stroll more often.
Additionally, 50% of those who answered said that cycling would also be an option, while 45% admitted that pubic transport routes would also work, showing that despite increasing environmental awareness, when it comes to making the choice to avoid the petrol-guzzlers in our drives, people across the North West are less than accommodating.
“We rely on our cars for so many things, no matter the length of the journey," said Andrew Hooks, COO of carwow. “Until public transport becomes a constantly reliable option, for many people there is simply no decision to make - the car wins every time.
“That is why drivers need to feel reassured about the future of motoring, with so much confusion over petrol, diesel and electric at the moment," he added. “Only then will we see longer term decisions being made by motorists in the types of car they are buying, relative to the types of journeys they are undertaking.”
For 81% of people, shopping was top of the list of things for which the car proves far too useful to ignore - especially with the average trip to the shops being four miles long - while the work commute, visiting friends and family, and the school run all came in with 37%.
Some 15% of people surveyed, however, admitted that their nearest shop was less than a mile away, prompting questions over their choice to reach for the car keys when those everyday essentials are running low, with 40% of people putting their mechanical motivation down to running late, 56% down to bad weather, and 27% because they were feeling lazy.
What is more, just one in five people say that they have ever car-pooled, with 10% of drivers clocking up more than 100 miles every week and women (33%) more likely to rev their engines as opposed to reach for the trainers than men (28%) when it comes to shorter journeys of less than a mile.
Worryingly, despite our reliance on cars for even the shortest of trips, people are increasingly drawn to large SUVs and crossover models, with eight of the 12 most searched-for models on carwow's website in March of this year being larger people-carriers from the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and SEAT Ateca, to pricier models such as the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque.