The cost of fuel is always a big divider! In 2012, this article was published stating…
“One billion litres less in sales.”
Well what has changed since then?
That is the recent trend in fuel consumption in the UK over the last year, and a troubling narrative of our collective driving habits and attitudes. Analysis? More fuel-efficient vehicles? Maybe. People are driving less often? We all tend to do these days. Fill up less? Sure, things are pretty rough everywhere in the economy. Car pooling on the rise? Why not? A recent BBC Radio 4 programme purported that it’s a combination of all those. But there was no mention of the millions of unemployed, less affluent, and downright depressed multitudes of people who would otherwise be pump-trigger happy to tank up to the hilt.
2011 saw unemployment figures for young people rocket beyond the one million mark. For approved driving instructors, this means fewer pupils to teach, which also got a recent note in another national survey about decline of living standards. Ironically, there is a glut in the market for newly qualified driving instructors, churned out by big brand driving schools, whose main stay was feeding on wannabe driving instructors. Well the trend for new recruits is on the decline and such household name driving schools are running from one administration to another. The smaller independents seem to have a better deal. For one, they are not tied into long-term expensive franchises. They can afford to be more flexible with their marketing, pricing and presence. They are not geographically bound to a very narrow area to cover without canvassing the turfs of the competition. Smaller independents can.
Even though the bigger driving schools are harping on the mantra that hundreds of people are turning seventeen every day, fact is they are not in employment, therefore cannot afford the driving lessons. Their parents are no better because they are mostly unemployed, comparatively speaking. Business for driving schools is therefore slumping too.
Bio fuel. Well that’s another matter. In a world going crazy on green emissions and hell-bent on big guzzlers converting to feasting on agricultural produce rather than traditional petrol and diesel, it is no surprise that sales at the pump has taken a knocking. Haulage companies are packing it in. That’s a fact. And those who manage to crawl up expensive routes are evaluating every turn they make. Result, this trend in fewer litres at the pumps is a phenomenon to keep us awake for a long time yet.
Are we walking more? You bet! Are we car sharing more? Definitely. Are relatives withdrawing last-minute from family engagements? Just you ask your friends and the answer is a resounding yes. It costs money to up and down the country and commuters are voting with their pay packets. It is staying put in banks, locked up in mortgage payments while the central bank holds interest rates at an all time low.
Apparently in Leicester, we enjoy a staggering array of cheap petrol and diesel at the pumps. And the employment rates? One certainly has cancelled out the other, and we know exactly which one does.
Meanwhile in other climes,
“Driving schools in Zaragoza (Spain) have come under fire for charging female pupils more than their male counterparts.”
Shocking? Well, small businesses are trying all they can to balance their books. That was recorded in the Olive Press, Spain.
Have you thought of the true cost of driving lessons?