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NSW drivers willing to put up with petrol pain

Thursday, 24th April, 2008

NSW drivers willing to put up with petrol pain NSW drivers willing to put up with petrol pain

A new survey has found stark differences between how high a price motorists in NSW and Queensland are prepared to pay for petrol.

One in three Queensland motorists would give up their cars and catch public transport to work if petrol prices hit $1.75 a litre, while NSW drivers would endure the pain well beyond that, according to the survey.

Car insurance company Budget Direct interviewed 2,500 motorists in a nationwide petrol price survey to ask what price would prove too much for them.

While 30 per cent of Queensland commuters said they would garage their cars in favour for public transport once prices reached $1.75 per litre, as many NSW drivers said prices would need to nudge $2.25 before they would consider giving up their wheels.

Local Tom Jovanovic said now matter how high prices get, he would still use his car.

"I buy premium unleaded because I have a high performance car, so I already pay more," he said.

"I'm happy to pay for the luxury of driving a car."

Mr Jovanovic said he had a guest from Europe staying with him and that fuel prices over there were already much higher than here.

The survey also found 47 per cent of motorists had already reduced their car use because of skyrocketing petrol prices.

Mr Jovanovic said that was more likely in his case as he has recently purchased a motorbike.

"I'll probably use that more often... everybody should have one," he said.

Half of respondents said they would consider trading their current vehicle in for a more fuel-efficient model and seven per cent have already done so.

"It looks like prices at the pump are likely to continue their upward trend, which may well force more motorists to rely on a public transport system that is already close to capacity," Budget Direct Associate director Jonathan Kerr said.

The cheapest fuel in Brisbane yesterday was $1.26 a litre, while Sydney's best price was $1.35.

Meanwhile, the survey showed about 37 per cent of motorists in Queensland, Victoria and NSW were happy to pay current prices because they liked their cars so much. AAP/BDT

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