1.3 Million Driven Off The Road By The Rising Cost Of Motoring (1)

05 July 2011

New research(1) from Sainsbury’s Car Insurance reveals that 1.3 million motorists have given up driving over the past 12 months because of the rising cost of motoring.  In total, 76% of motorists have changed their driving habits over this period to save money.

Motorists have made a number of changes to their driving habits in a bid to cut the cost of driving over the past 12 months. Some changes include stopping filling up their tanks fully, which 26% admit to doing, and instead they are purchasing specific values of fuel for example £20 or £50 a visit. Some 45% of motorists (16.5 million people) are now driving less and 7% have started to car share. A further 10% (3.53 million people) have downgraded their car for one that’s cheaper to run.

To help ease the monthly cost of fuel, new Sainsbury’s Car Insurance customers, with a Nectar card, taking out a policy between 5th July and 30th September will receive fuel discount vouchers for one year(3) . Each voucher offers a discount of 5p on every litre of fuel at Sainsbury’s 262 forecourts across the country. This is in addition to the already competitive fuel prices and Nectar benefit offered by Sainsbury’s.

Further Nectar points(2) can also be earned as Sainsbury’s Car Insurance customers receive double Nectar points on all their purchases in store or at the forecourt for two years. For those regularly spending £100 a week the additional saving could be as much as £52 a year, which is equivalent to 6.4% of the average car insurance premium(4) .

This offer coincides with new research(1) from Sainsbury’s Car Insurance that reveals that 38% of motorists have started using specific petrol forecourts more often, returning because they have competitive prices or because they can collect reward points there.

Ben Tyte, Head of Motor Insurance, Sainsbury’s Finance said:“We estimate the average motorist has an annual fuel bill of over £1,700(5) , a 22.9% year-on-year increase, which underlines just how hard the rising cost of motoring is affecting people.  The average annual cost of running a car is now just over £3,000 a year, 21% higher than a year ago(6) .

“Our car insurance offering provides our customers with competitive premiums and a preferential discount of up to 15% and double Nectar points for two years(2) , so together with this new petrol offer, we’re helping our customers significantly reduce the cost of running their car.”


Table showing total benefits of Sainsbury’s Car Insurance Fuel Vouchers and double Nectar points (over page)

For a customer with a typical weekly shop of… Value of double Nectar points on weekly shop at Sainsbury’s
 Car fuel voucher saving(7) Value of double Nectar points on average annual fuel spend at Sainsbury’s(8)
Total value of all Nectar points and fuel vouchers
£50 £52 £33 £12.05  £97.05
£100  £104  £33 £12.05 £149.05


The average car owner is now spending around £1,720.69 per year to fuel their vehicle(9) which is a 22.9% year on year increase and one that is evidently having a serious impact on motorists.

As well as offering competitive premiums, Sainsbury’s Car Insurance offers two options of cover, a standard policy and a Premier product. Both products offer some of the widest range of cover and benefits available in the marketplace.

For example, both new policies enable all named drivers to earn their own no-claims discounts, which only 15.9% of policies available in the market allow(10) .  Similarly, they both offer a courtesy car as standard(11) . Research from Defaqto shows that only 53.3%(10) of policies across the market offer this (subject to availability).

Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Car Insurance also offers a range of enhanced benefits including a guaranteed like for like courtesy car which means a family’s large seven-seater will be matched with another so that they can carry on as normal for the duration of repairs – only 1.9% of policies offer this. It is also among the 15.9% of policies that guarantee a courtesy car for 21 days or more following a total loss of your vehicle(6).

For further information on Sainsbury’s Car Insurance, call 0800 092 9459, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.


Notes to editors
For further information, please contact:

Andrew Adie / Tom Wilson, Citigate Dewe Rogerson – 020 7282 1094 / 0207 282 2842
Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Finance – 0131 338 2863
Jennifer Thomas, RBS Insurance – 020 8285 8865

(1) ICM interviewed a random sample of 2022 adults aged 18+. The interviews were conducted via an online omnibus survey between 13th May – 15th May 2011.  Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information available
NB. Headline figure based on asking all representative sample of all UK adults. All other figures referring to this research are based on the opinions of those who currently describe themselves as a motorist.

(2)Sainsbury’s new car insurance product provided by RBS Insurance is available to new customers only.

Those shopping at Sainsbury’s with their Nectar card already receive points equivalent to 1% off their shopping. Holding Sainsbury’s Car Insurance or another one of the supermarket bank’s qualifying reward products, doubles this Nectar reward. A customer with a qualifying Sainsbury’s Finance reward product who spends £100 a week in store will therefore receive the equivalent of £52 worth of extra Nectar points a year.

(3) Take out a new Sainsbury’s Car Insurance policy before 30th September 2011 and you will receive six 5p off per litre vouchers, one to be used every month. Then, six months later, you will receive another six.

^Fuel offer only available to Nectar card holders. Nectar card number must be quoted at the time of purchase to receive this offer. Vouchers can only be used in Sainsbury’s Petrol stations. Six fuel vouchers will be issued 40 days after the policy start date. These fuel vouchers will offer 5p off a litre. There is no maximum or minimum fill up. Only one voucher can be redeemed per month in accordance with the terms specified on the voucher. Six subsequent vouchers will be issued half way through the policy. Vouchers cannot be used with any other offer. Only original vouchers will be accepted and should be presented with a valid Nectar card. If the policy is cancelled within the first 6 months no subsequent vouchers will be issued. Offer ends 30th September 2011.

(4) According to research from, the average car insurance premium in April 2011 was £814.80. £52 as a percentage of this equals 6.38%

(5) Based on driving 10,000 miles a year in a Ford Focus (one of the UK’s most popular cars) which does on average 37.7 MPG and typical petrol prices at the time of the research

(6) Based on combined analysis of various sources including, Office of National Statistics, AA, Comparison was made between the latest figures from these sources and those from April 2010. (Fuel comparison against March 2010)

(7) One voucher can be redeemed per month, discounting fuel by 5p on every litre. Based on a 55l fuel capacity (typical vehicle), maximum discount is £33 per year

(8) Typical usage on a Ford Focus (10,000 miles), with an annual average fuel consumption of 1,205 litres. Nectar points are accrued under the double points offer at two points per litre

(9) Based on driving 10,000 miles a year in a Ford Focus (one of the UK’s most popular cars) which does on average 37.7 MPG and typical petrol prices at the time of the research

(10) Defaqto research (May 2011), commissioned by Sainsbury’s Finance.  Defaqto is an independent financial research company

(11) Courtesy car offered as standard on both policies (fully comprehensive). Subject to availability on Sainsbury’s Car Insurance. Like for like guaranteed on Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Car Insurance

Sainsbury’s Finance:
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Finance online media centre

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Finance provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Finance recent awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Direct Personal Loans Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider, Best Online Life Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards 2010.

Sainsbury’s Finance is a joint venture between J.Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Finance enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit

About RBS Insurance
RBS Insurance is the second largest general insurer in the UK1 and is wholly owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Headquartered in Bromley, Kent, it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.
It provides a wide range of general insurance products to consumers through a number of well known brands including; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands, through its UKI Partnerships division.  In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

1 Based on policies in force 2010.