Rising cost of fuel is driving motorists into debt

September 9, 2013

For many of us, a car is an essential part of everyday life. However, recent research from the AA has revealed that an increasing number of motorists are beginning to struggle to keep their car on the road, with many even turning to payday loans to fuel their vehicles. Fuel prices have spiked four times in the last year and a half and, according to the report, one in six car owners are turning to payday loans, overdraft funds and savings, as well as selling their possessions in order to fill up the tank. The Petrol Retailers Association has also reported an increase in the number of ‘drive-offs’ as motorists leaving the forecourt without paying reaches epidemic levels. In March, the price of petrol stood at an 11-month high of 140.3 pence per litre, but has recently settled lower, at 138 pence per litre. Overall, motorists are now paying an extra £5 per small tank of petrol, pushing many household budgets to their absolute maximum. President of the AA, Edmund King, warned that, although many younger drivers are struggling with the cost of fuel, one in 50 motorists aged 35-44 are also turning to payday lenders for help to pay for fuel, including those in managerial and professional positions. He said: “These drivers are probably saddled with family costs and mortgages, or high rents, and their predicament is even more disturbing. “Fuel price desperation has created a new and sinister twist to the phrase ‘driven into debt’.” After increased public concern over the rising cost of fuel, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) began an investigation which appealed for any information which may have suggested that the fuel market had been manipulated. However, the probe was dropped earlier this year after concluding that there was no evidence to suggest any attempts to skew the market. If you’re struggling with debt due to the rising cost of living, or have become involved with a payday lender and need advice, why not contact Scotland Debt Solutions today. Our knowledgeable advisers can offer professional and impartial advice on how to get your finances under control.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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