UK remains ‘locked into car ownership’, new Bike Is Best research reveals

The UK remains ‘locked into car ownership’, new Bike Is Best research has revealed, with 71% of people stating they’ll expect to always be car owners.

The research shows that 47% of the population feel that they have ‘no alternative’ to owning a car, with UK motorists spending 13% of their annual gross income on motoring.

Higher earners, women, and those in their 30s and early 40s are more likely to expect that they will always be car owners, but 57% of British women state that they are worried about the cost of motoring. For car finance, UK motorists with some form of it spend 19% of their total annual gross income on their car.

48% of people say they can not afford a bike even though it’s a preferred alternative to the car or public transport and 88% of the public state that a bike purchase would have a strong health and happiness impact.

Those with car finance are more likely to be interested in buying a bike via a finance plan, or via a subscription with 68% confirming an interest in the cycle to work concept.

#BikeIsBest has previously called for subsidies for e-bikes to improve access to cycling, as well as continued funding for cycling infrastructure to help people travel safely and cheaply.

For cycling finance, the amount people are willing to pay on cycling comes in at £39/month (£467/year). This represents 1% of gross annual salary, compared to 13% of salary spent on motoring.

Read more: London’s Santander Cycles hire scheme sees record-breaking year in 2022 with 11,506,889 hires

Scott Purchas, a spokesperson for Bike Is Best, said: “As the UK endures the cost of living crisis, there’s no escaping the fact that our entrenched car culture is locking people in to spending significant portions of their income on transport.

“UK motorists with some form of car finance spend 19% of their total annual gross income on their car; new investment in infrastructure will give people genuine choice about how they travel which is incredibly important at this difficult time.”

He added: “Modes of transport that are efficient, sustainable and don’t break the bank should win out – not least because half the population see the bike or e-bike as an alternative to the car or public transport.”

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