RAC’s 2017 Report on Motoring

RAC motoring report 2017
RAC motoring report 2017

The RAC has released the results of their annual driver’s survey. They highlight the fact that 38 million people in the UK are drivers and therefore they represent a large voting sector who’s views should be important to the government. They took a sample of 1,700 representative drivers to assess their experiences, concerns and perceptions.

Motoring Costs

The results of the survey this year paint a stark picture of a substantial increase in motoring costs and the concern that for many drivers, particularly the under 25’s, driving may become unaffordable.

  • 46% of drivers said their repair and other maintenance costs had increased this year.
  • 66% of drivers reported increasing fuel costs.
  • 58% of drivers said their insurance premiums had increased.
  • The average rise in fully comp insurance between 2016 and 2017 was a massive 15%.

Of course, the picture is mixed and there are regional differences. For example, insurance increases have been highest in London and lowest in Yorkshire and the Humber. You can investigate these regional differences in more detail using the RACs interactive tool.

Mobile Devices

There has been a significant emphasis by the government and law enforcement to reduce the dangers posed by drivers using handheld devices while at the wheel. Fines have been increased and a high profile public awareness campaign has been run. It would appear that this is starting to work. Awareness of the risks is higher with 3% more drivers reporting this as their top safety concern. At the same time, the number of drivers admitting to using hand held devices while driving has fallen from 31% to 23%.


There seems to be a change in attitudes to speed as well. 4% fewer drivers admit to speeding on the motorway (66% still do so there is significant progress still to be made!) and 3% fewer wanted the speed limit to be increased.

Air Quality

Air quality is a rising concern amongst drivers. As a group, they broadly supported the countries clean air initiatives however drivers don’t like the blanket increases on diesel cars. The likelihood of people buying a diesel car has fallen but there has not been an increase in drivers expecting to purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle.