More people travelling by car despite rising fuel prices

More people travelling by car despite rising fuel prices
Credit: Belga

More people in Flanders are choosing to forego public transport in favour of cars despite rising fuel prices, a recent survey found.

One in three people who frequently used public transport both for commuting and for leisure activities such as shopping before the coronavirus crisis switched to another transport mode, the latest Mobility Barometer published by roadside assistance service VAB showed.

Of this group, 17% responded that they use the car to commute more often. However, people also indicated that they had switched to cycling rather than taking public transport.

Six in ten infrequent public transport users say they now avoid the train, tram or bus. As a result, also rely more often on travelling by car.

The cost of filling up

The number of people relying on their car increased despite the fact that filling up a tank is now more expensive than last year. Since 2020, filling a 50-litre tank of petrol has become €17.15 more expensive, while the price for the same amount of diesel has risen by €16.40.

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In light of these findings, VAB recommends that people drive economically by not driving too fast: cars consume 25% more fuel at 130 km/h than at 100 km/h. Driving in cruise control and ensuring the correct tyre pressure also help save on fuel.

The official maximum fuel prices in Belgium are determined by the FPS Economy, but petrol stations can decide to offer a discount. VAB published an overview of municipalities with petrol stations where they give the biggest discounts on the maximum prices. The discounts are subject to change due to price fluctuations.

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