More than a third of UK drivers (35%) say they are more dependent on using their car than 12 months ago, with public transport too often seen as an expensive and unreliable alternative, according to data released as part of the latest RAC Report on Motoring.

The figures show a further rise in the proportion of drivers who say they rely on their cars as their main mode of transport – up from 33% in 2018, and from 27% a year earlier – and is now at its highest proportion in the past seven years.

Just 14% of drivers (the equivalent of around 5.9m people) say they have become less dependent than a year ago, though this has also increased from 12% in 2018 indicating a small rise in those saying they are less dependent on their vehicles.

RAC data insight spokesman Rod Dennis said: “These findings present the stark reality for so many people in the UK, that for good or bad, in 2020 the car remains an essential means of getting about whether that is for commuting, dropping off and collecting children or going to visit family and friends.

“While the car might be the obvious choice for many people’s journeys, especially for those who have already invested a lot of money in buying or leasing one, it is also clear just how frustrated many drivers are with the lack of decent alternatives for some of their trips. For more than a decade now, drivers have been saying that they are willing to use their cars less if public transport was better – and this year’s figures indicate it’s the high cost and low frequency of services that are the biggest problems cited by drivers. At the same time, many drivers continue to believe that public transport does not suit their needs for the sorts of journeys they have to make.”


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