By David Clement
Motorists are continuing to use their cars less due to high fuel prices, research has suggested.
The poll of 21,587 AA members found that a total of 45 per cent are cutting down on car usage.
It also showed 28 per cent of people surveyed are slashing their family or personal budgets to compensate.
Welsh drivers using car less
The drivers with the gloomiest outlook appear to be in Wales, where 67 per cent are spending less or driving less because of fuel costs.
Half of the AA members polled in Northern Ireland are using the car less, while 41 per cent of Londoners have reduced their car use.
Semi or unskilled workers are cutting back on motoring the most, with 53 per cent using their cars less.
Around 35 per cent of skilled worker families are eating into other areas of their spending to stay on the road.
This figure compares with 22 per cent in the professional and higher-level manager group.
"We were stunned when, despite a significant supermarket price war and big fuel price drop, UK petrol consumption in October failed to recover," said AA president Edmund King.
Fuel prices higher in rural areas
The AA had found that its members in Wales, Northern Ireland and other rural areas are often paying 5p a litre more for supermarket petrol.
For instance, in Market Drayton, a Shropshire town of 12,000 people, supermarket petrol was 6p a litre or £3 a small tank dearer than in bigger towns.
Mr King said: "The Government has committed to a fuel duty freeze and is trying to extend the 5p rural fuel duty rebate, which is helpful.
"However, if the Treasury is going to make concessions to the fuel retail industry, it needs to tie them to fairer pricing."