Fuel Prices

I have to use diesel as petrol fumes set me off. I also need to use my car a great deal more than the average person. Now I know I get motorbility and that is great but I am now paying 30p a litre more for the privilege of being able to leave my house than I was a year ago. I can understand the need to be green and goodness only knows I do my best, but they don't make cars big enough for me, the kids and chaviot that are electric and you can't convert your motorbility vehicle to bio-diesel and anyway I have just over a year left on the lease of Puff the magic C8 :(

Anyone else feeling the pinch with the increase in fuel prices. To make matters worse I feel guilty for moaning :(

Bex

29 Replies

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  • Hi Bex,

    I can't say I feel exactly the same, but my older sister has severe Autism and other learning difficulties and she needs care 24/7. It's costing her an absolute fortune to go out in the car at the moment, and like you, she uses hers (well her carers and the family drive the car on her behalf) more than average. She too has to have a big car even though there's only her, she has very bad epileptic fits and it's important she's got enough room to ""fit safely"" if that makes sense, and also we have to give her injections to bring her out of the fits, and so the car has to be big enough for all that too. She gets motobility and we are all really grateful, but she still has to pay the running costs, as we all do. It is something my mum and dad are concerned about and a lot of the time when we take her out, we use my parents' cars or mine because we can do when she's with us, and ours (especially mine as it's only 1 Litre) are a lot cheaper to run and we dont take petrol money off her. Her carers are only insured to drive the motorbility cars and arent prepared to take some of the calculated risks we are, like risking her fitting in my 14-yr-old tiny Peugeot 106!! But that's to protect them, if anything happened and she was injured and wasn't in her own car etc it would all get very messy. I can't really offer anything practical, but just thought I'd reply so you don't feel alone!!

    Take Care

    Claire x

  • Not being allowed to drive, on medical grounds, I can say it does not affect me on my electric bike, up to 45 miles on one charge, depending on power usage and terrain.

    Anyone on a limited budget who requires the mobility of a car is really having it rough and with the escalating Road Tax, MPV and Chelsea Tractor owners are going to be double hit, high fuel use and high road tax, up to £440 in 2010 for these vehicles.

  • I am actually considering down sizing next year back to a smaller Fiesta! more economical and also lower CO2 emmissions. I currently have a Ford Fusion.

    I can still get a wheelchair in it (I hope!!)

    Also Gornfishin, Motability customers and also people on highrate DLA (I think) are road tax exempt.

    Kate

  • Kate- yes you are right those on high rate mobility DLA do get road tax paid thankfully. Im finding the increase in fuel prices hard i have cut back my driving to essential outings only eg costa appts and certain swimming runs only. The rest of the family have got used to getting the bus more when im in costa so its not affecting them too much apart from eldest now having to double bus home.

    I'm finding as i cant afford to go out driving im stuck in the house alot more which isn't doing a great deal for my sanity. I drive an r reg Renault scenic and tend to get through a full tank in 2-3 weeks. I live on rather a hill and although i might on a good day be able to get into my local town but there is no way i can get home.

  • I am in the middle of a mega steep hill, I used to drive to town where it was flat but for the past 2 days my car has remained in the drive. I have to go and visit Grandad tomorrow but I suspect the car will then be grounded until the weekend when my daughter is home from school. I miss my trips to town. I am hoping to hook up with a couple of other asthmatics next week so will combine that with collecting sub cut supplies in the past I might have made an extra journey and gone and had a nose around the huge Marks that is near by. The diesel costs are rising by the day according to the daily updates I get for my area :(

    Bex

  • Hi,

    I don't drive, but i do have a lot of experience with gas prices and such, as it practically pays for my education. The prices are not high to make a greener environment just so you know! But I am sure it helps, or I am actually pretty sure that the fact that the people want to make a green environment, is increasing the gas prices as there are fewer people that drive as much as they used to or switcihing to more environmental friendly cars, so that the oil companies need to increase the prices to have as much profit as they used to! It is just a market, like any other product, or currencies, so there will always be inflation depending on demand. I have a bunch of friends that are mad about the gas prices and were talking about boycotting all major gas stations and only buy from the small companies that no one has heard from, but by doing that the gas prices will rise even more. Apparently what is needed to sink the gas prices is that all of england needs to be driving more, and at a steady rate, that way the gas companies will be getting their money, and the prices will sink. It is not just england though, it is the entire world. Also some asian countries are relying heavily on biofuels, which is also causing a big drop in the market.

    I guess this is a bit irrelevant, but a bit of info wont hurt as it seems like no one actually knows what goes on behind the scenes.

    As for your worries, sell your car, and get a smart car, or any kind of electric car (apparently they work fine) and i am sure that over time (they do actually have big ones, at least in the states as my friend has one, I don't know if they have them in the UK yet, but if not they will probably come in not too long), that would pay off. Or take the bus or tube?!

    I don't know if any of this makes any sense to you, or if it seems juxtoposed, which i tried to make it not seem but it is a bit hard because there is more than one factor that makes the gas prices high, and most people take that forgranted, then just run out and moan to the gas companies, which does not help in any way.

    Anyway, good luck with your difficulties with the prices. I'm pretty sure they will go down eventually, just stay patient.

    Cheers

    Haagz

  • rocketing Fuel Prices

    Hi, i'm only a kid so i can't fully understand how bad the fuel price inflation is affecting the families of england, we have a proton persona EXi not generally a fuel guzzler that runs out of petrol a lot. Our car is rather old so the economy of the car is rather bad, much like about 20 miles to 30 miles to the gallon. Not much if you look that a Ford Mondeo can do 75 miles to the gallon! The fuel prices are astronomical at the minute, and it is just a laugh they may want to extingush the fuel guzzlers from the road but that does not mean they should up the price of petrol up to around about £2 a litre it's a very bad joke. This is like the wrong time to up the fuel prices we england as a nation, are suffering fom a credit CRUNCH! Does Gordon Brown not know that or soemthing or is it that the primeministers are rich so they don't notice it. My Uncle has bought an audi Q7, and yeah compared to our car a 1.8 his car is a 3.0. He understands the nation wants to go green so he tends not to use that car and he uses his smaller BMW 118i Estate. I cannot believe this mess, Gordon Brown on the over hand has heard us all moaning about the credit crunch and is defending himself by saying, ""oh, I could not do much else to stop the fuel prices going up"" like yes you could, there must have been something he could have done, we have the highest fuel prices in the world so if Spain or Greece can have low fuel prices why can't we???

    Hari

  • Gordon Brown has a very small say in the gas prices in england. Only a tiny portion of the gas prices depend on tax, and it is mainly the crude oil that costs. Therefore there is very little Gordon Brown can do to sink the prices. The reason that countries such as spain and greece have lower gas prices is because in largely populated areas such as England, they require a specially refined type of gas, which costs more to make, but is a lot more environmental friendly. Therefore you will find that in places with more people will have larger gas prices. Apparently during the summer and during holidays, the demand for gas is higher, so the prices also usually increases. As I stated in my previous post, fuel is just like any other product, the more demand the higher the price, but yet so confusingly, the less people buy gasoline now, trying to make the fuel prices go down, the higher the prices will go because the large and dominating companies will not get their profit. It is a compedative market, and there is very little one person can do about it. It is the entire market as a whole that needs to be changed.

  • Haagendaz, your comment that 'the weather is nice, go for a walk' is a bit of a kick in the teeth to those of us who have uncontrolled asthma that dramatically limits our exercise tolerance or ability to 'go for a walk'.

    I would love to go for a walk, I used to be a keen back-packer, but unfortunately these days my breathlessness means that I can only walk about 100 metres on the flat on a good day, and much less on a bad day. I'm reliant on the car (and my husband, since I can't drive for health reasons, either) to get out the house at all. I know there are many other people on this board in the same position or worse.

    Please think of the diverse abilities of the people who post on this board.

    Em H

  • Haagendaz, I am going to take a very little breath since a deep one is not possible and try not to go up in a puff of nebuliser solution. You are wrong a huge amount of the fuel cost is tax (I used to work in parliament I can ask someone to get exact figures if you want them) . I am going to ignore your unkind remark about going for a walk and hope you wrote it without thinking. I would suggest you go back and edit your post I am upset by it and I am sure others who can't walk very far will be too.

    Bex

  • Haagen Daz, Bex initially started this thread to highlight the impact that high petrol costs are having on people who really need it the most to stay independent and mobile. Also people who are unable to walk very far are also likely to have a lower income that people who are fit and healthy and able to work.

    I really wish I could hop back on my bike and cycle around or walk for long distances. I often combine any trip out in my car with as many tasks as possible.

    today, I dropped in at Mums, popped into Tescos, then popped into work for a few hours.

  • Also (sorry, we seem to all be getting at the same person here!), you're completely wrong about tax paying only a small part in the cost of fuel; at the moment, tax makes up an impressive 52% of the total fuel cost! Ouch.

  • As far as I am concerned tax on fuel is nothing less than a tax on people with disabilities, many of whom have no choice but to use their cars and to have larger vehicles to accomodate equipment, as we have said.

    I can understand the government wanting to offer financial disincentives for car use, for environmental and other reasons, but if the tax was primarily levied on the vehicle rather than the petrol (with appropriate cheaper rates for small vehicles) this would be far more friendly to people with disabilities, as most of them can get their vehicle taxed for free.

    Perhaps we should all contact our MPs and express this concern.

    Em H

  • I'm going to be controversial and disagree, Em!

    If the government *really* just has environmental concerns at heart, and wants to keep people out of cars as much as possible, taxing fuel is the way to go. But to do that as well as road tax is too much.

    I have to drive my keyboard equipment to every venue I play at; there's no other option. I can't fit it all in a small car. My car (a Honda Accord) is taxed in the highest bracket for pre-2003 cars - the same one as a huge 4x4 of the same age would be taxed in!

    Another example: My cousin restored a Ford Sierra RS500 painstakingly over the course of about three years. He only drives it about 500 miles a year to the Ford RS shows. Yet he still has to pay road tax in the highest band. My father-in-law drives a Peugeot 206 diesel which is taxed in the lowest-but-one band, but does around 13,000 miles a year. Over the course of a 12-month period, the Peugeot is emitting a massive amount of CO2 compared to the Ford, but the difference in price between road tax is over £250! How does that make environmental sense?

    Of course, the government just uses the environment as a handy smokescreen; as the proliferation of speed cameras and the fact that they seemingly drum into schoolchildren the message, ""Do what you like on the roads, the driver is ALWAYS to blame"", it is clear that they really just hate car drivers and want to make as much money out of us as possible!

    A genuine solution would be to abolish road tax and increase (shock horror) fuel duty to cover the loss - this would penalise those who generate the most CO2 (and therefore are those using the most fuel). On top of this, all those who currently qualify for free road tax would be given a card that all petrol stations would accept that would give them a discount equivalent to the increase, resuming the status quo.

    And *then* we could work out what to do about people who can't afford to fuel their cars!

  • That's true, PeakSteve, vehicle tax is unfair to more than just people with disabilities - it does penalise anyone who has no option but to use their car, or to have a bigger car. I suppose another example would be large families with lots of kids doing the school run, which is often not convenient for public transport. I'm afraid I have less sympathy for people like your cousin who restore cars and take them to shows - that is 'car-as-hobby' rather than 'car-as-essential-means-of-transport', and we should be expected to have to pay for our hobbies! Although I can quite see the point that there is really no reason why the government should make quite so much money out of people who enjoy this hobby, particularly as it doesn't have as much environmental impact as other drivers.

    It makes sense to make the tax commensurate with the environmental impact - but does the amount of fuel used directly determine the environmental impact, or are other factors like the size and efficiency of the car relevent too? Does a Citroen C1 with a 998cc engine, supposedly one of the most environmentally friendly petrol cars you can buy, create less environmental impact *per litre of fuel* than a Chelsea tractor or a people carrier, or is it all a question of fuel economy and miles per gallon? I don't know the answer, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone does know! If there are other factors involved, then perhaps it makes sense to retain some form of differential charge for people who do drive cars that have a particular environmental impact - but perhaps this would better be done in a way that makes it proportional to the impact of the vehicle.

    I like the idea of a scheme which enables people with disabilities (and perhaps other genuine reasons for needing a large car or to use their car frequently) to recoup some of the money they are forced to spend on fuel. It does sound logistically more difficult than allowing people with disabilities to have free vehicle tax, though. It would be nice if the increased revenue that the government got on vehicles was ploughed back into improving public transport, including making it more accessible to people with disabilities, but that may be an unrealistic expectation!

    Personally, I would prefer some sort of discount on fuel, as I don't benefit from the free road tax. I would be eligible if I had my own car or if Alex's car were used solely for ferrying me around, but as he uses it to drive to work, we can't get free tax on it. During our leisure time we do still use the car more than we would if I didn't have a disability.

    I suppose an alternative and similar system would be to have some sort of device on every car that directly measures distance travelled, emissions or some other measure of enviromental impact and imposes a penalty accordingly. This would be in combination with zero duty on fuel and some sort of scheme whereby people with disabilities were opted out of paying the penalty.

    I agree that the government's primary aim does not appear to be to reduce the impact of car use on the environment, but to raise revenue. I believe it's been shown that speed cameras tend to be placed where people are likely to speed most often (and thus where they are likely to make more money) rather than where the majority of accidents related to speeding occur.

    This thread has turned into quite an interesting topic!

    Em H

  • Jeez, way to target me. I am fully aware that there are lots of different people on here with different severities of asthma, and you don’t have to directly jump to the conclusion that I meant something offensive about that, I do have asthma myself you know. Besides, I did not tell you to replace driving by walking, I was just indicating that you should go out and enjoy the nice weather, because you don’t always get nice weather in England.

    As for the taxes, I do stand corrected. I was thinking America, where tax is less than 25% of the price. However, the tax has been there all along, and it is not the tax that is making the fuel prices sky rocket, it is the oil market itself. Gordon Brown can’t make the entire world’s fuel prices go up.

    Read and learn:

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/busines...

    and

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/busines...

    Now on a last note, I edited my post for you because you felt offended and kicked in the teeth by it. However, I felt fairly offended and “kicked in the teeth” by your posts as well, so I would appreciate it if you edited them.

    I hope this hasn’t upset or offended anyone, and if it has you should know that it was not in my intention to do so.

    Take care,

    Haagendaz

  • Haagendaz, a couple of points, first you were wrong with your facts and wrong in suggesting the answer was a walk in the nice weather which is what you said. It would be better if you just admitted that. I am not going to edit my comment, if you read these boards you will know that even going out for some people at this time of year due to allergies is out of question never mind taking a walk. And 2nd I tried to take a walk the other night got all of 50 yeads up a footpath before my son had to go hurtling back to the car for wheelchair and oxygen cylinder whilst I alarmed several other people out for a stroll. I know I am not the only one. Not all asthmatics have such good control they can take walks, its not our fault we are as a rule compliant, we co-operate with our respiratory teams its just that our lungs do not co-operate with us. As a former skier, SCUBA diver and enthusiastic moorland walker I was fit and thought nothing of walking miles today I can't even get to my washing line to put the washing out to dry in this lovely weather we are having. You might feel kicked in the teeth because you said things that were wrong and hurtful to people and people picked up on them and pointed out your mistakes. I still feel offended and upset that you assume al asthmatics are the same we are thankfully for most not.

    Oh and please don't tell me to read and learn I am 40 in a few weeks, I used to work in Parliament, I have helped to draft bills and know how to read facts thank you. My body may be failing but my mind is (contrary to appearances) as sharp as ever!

    Bex

  • I would just like to add my two-penneth.

    For me a car is relatively essential to my life. I live in a small village and there is one bus a day if we are lucky- and that doesnt always turn up! So for me my car enables me to do things like get to the doctors which is in the next town (something relatively essential for an asthmatic), to drive to the pharmacy to collect my medication.

    And also to do things like visit my pony. I physically couldnt walk there because it would take me hours every day. Although I appreciate that that isnt perhaps essential- it is certainly one of the things that keeps me active.

    Now I obviously do walk wherever possible and wouldnt say that - as for Bex and many others- a car is my only means for getting out and about but it certainly is relatively essential for my life.

    As a student the fuel prices are certainly making a difference to me- it now costs me £30 just to get home and back to uni.

    I do of course think that with global warming its important to only drive when essential. But there are times when for me it is essential. When I used to live in town I walked everywhere.

    *hides from having head bitten off*

    Em

    xxxx

  • Haagendaz,

    I’m sorry if you feel that you are being targeted; that was not the intention. You did stir up a lot of emotion with your comments, and people will naturally respond to that. I think people were measured and reasoned in their responses; no-one is mounting a personal attack on you.

    No-one is ‘jumping to the conclusion that you meant something offensive about that’ – I am sure you had no intention of offending or upsetting people. Nevertheless, you did offend and upset people with your statements.

    Bex started this thread as a discussion of how the rising fuel prices affect people with asthma, of whatever severity, who have to use their cars more than most people. This is a serious issue – as you can see from some of the posts that followed, it is curtailing people’s independence and ability to get out of the house. Speaking as someone who is effectively housebound without a car and someone to drive it, I can tell you that this is a very serious issue which has a profound effect on quality of life.

    Telling us to ‘go for a walk’ when we would dearly love to, but are unable to, is insensitive and unkind – surely you must see that? Even suggesting that we ‘take the bus or tube’, as you do in an earlier post, is asking the impossible for a lot of us – I could not get to the bus stop under my own steam if I tried, and tube stations are, for the most part, very un-wheelchair friendly.

    All we are asking is that you read the thread carefully (something which you do not seem to have done, based on your comments which appear to misunderstand the problem that we are discussing) and respond appropriately, rather than causally dismissing something which is having such a huge impact on the quality of life of so many of our members.

    I’m sorry if this seems harsh or as if we are picking on you. It is not intended to be an attack on you. My feelings on this issue are somewhat heightened by the fact that it is a beautiful day outside and I am stuck in the house because I have no-one to take me out.

    Em H

  • It may be a beautiful day Em but think of all that pollen. *shudders* :P

    *is hidden inside with curtains and windows closed*

    Em

    x

  • I'm not being funny here, and I don't normally get involved in this kind of thing, but I feel Haggendaz has been picked on. Bex made it clear she was upset, fair enough, she's got a right too, but why did everyone else have to jump on the bandwagon and have a go an all. At the end of the day she upset Bex and knows that and I'm sure she feels sorry for it, she made one mistake about the tax confusing it with America's, and she has Bex having a go and Peaksteve, why cant it be left between Bex and Haggendaz to sort it, she does't need all of you giving her grief.

  • And just for the record, yes I do still feel this is a serious issue and yes I do feel it falls badly on those unable to walk very far, and this is extremely unfair. As was said on the first reply to this post (mine) we have to take equipment and that out every time my sister goes out. We can't risk not taking it in case she has a fit, same as people on here can't risk themselves having an attack without the correct equipment.

    So I do understand the implications it has, and can relate to them, just indirectly. I just think Haz didn't need four or five people all telling her the same thing, once is enough.

  • At the risk of others wading in and this thread getting even more heated, I feel I have to respond again.

    It wasn't just Bex who was upset by the comments - I was actually the first person to respond and I was pretty upset by the casual way that things were put. The issue that upset me was not at all to do with the mistake about the tax - that was clearly an honest mistake and I couldn't give two hoots about it. The thing that upset me, Bex and the other people responding was the careless comment that we could just go for a walk if we wanted to. This was quite hurtful given how much we struggle to do just that.

    Having said that, Haagendaz has edited her post to remove the comment that upset us, and has said that she didn't intend to imply that walking was a substitute for driving. Perhaps we should all just let this argument lie and continue this thread if anyone has anything constructive to say about the original topic.

    Em H

  • Thanks, Em, but I feel I need to raise a point:

    Claire-Michelle - please READ the posts you are referring to before you start accusing people of doing things that they have not done! I specifically apologised to Haagendaz in the post I made about fuel tax, but that was just because she's made an honest mistake and I was correcting it - neither Em, Bex or Kate had mentioned this. You'll note that I don't get involved with any of the other arguments; they are nothing to do with me (unless they degenerate to such an extent that they need moderating) and so I kept out of them. Perhaps that's a wise course of action to consider in the future?

  • Claire and everyone thinking about leaping in let us be clear on one thing Haagendaz said something that really upset me not just for myself but for the brave people I know on here who struggle for every step they take. I admire them hugely, it also affected and upset anyone who struggles with walking. I asked that the post to be edited and it has been although it seems (please note ""it seems"") begrudgingly. No apology was mentioned, no I am sorry ""I got the facts wrong"", no ""I am sorry for upsetting you Bex and all the others who can't walk very far I did not think"". No-one is perfect we do and say things we should not, goodness only knows I know that only too well being a champion at speak first think about 20 minutes later however I hope I am big enough to be able able to sorry when I cause hurt and claire make no mistake it did hurt and I am willing to bet it hurt many more than me, even if it was not intended to. A little humility goes a long way.

    Bex

  • Ahem, ding ding, round 2, etc.

    I've not (yet) been personally involved or somehow implicated in this thread, so it's really up to me to call time and moderation. This has blown up somewhat out of proportion over what was probably a well-intentioned remark which had repercussions beyond what the poster originally intended - yes, it wasn't meant the way it came across, but, as is so often the way with written word, it can be misinterpreted, and this is what has happened here. It has upset a number of message board users (EmH, Kate Moss, Bex and others), whether it meant to or not. Somehow PeakSteve has been implicated in ""having a go"", and as he has already pointed out, he's not had anything to do with this particular argument.

    Tempers are frayed, let's have some humility and apologies all round, and let it go, please. Thanks.

    CathBear

    (Trying to look stern with a Moderator hat in place)

  • Yes, fair enough it's not just upset you Bex, but I'm sure she's going to clock on that if it's upset you, then it's probably upset a lot of other people in your position. I just don't see why all of you had to gang up on her before she'd even replied to your post Bex, fair enough if you asked for it to be changed and nothing happened than yes get mods involved or whatever, but to all gang up on her when she's not had a proper chance to reply is a bit unfair in my opinion.

  • Claire-Michelle - as a MODERATOR, CathBear asked you to drop this so that this thread can return to the original purpose. She also asked for apologies all round - I don't seem to see your apology for accusing me of something I didn't do.

    So, as another MODERATOR, I'm going to ask you again - please let this drop.

    Steve

    (yes, I'm a moderator!)

  • Claire-Michelle,

    Last night, I asked everyone involved in this dispute to drop the matter and/or apologise. Your latest post has perpetuated the argument and has not included an apology, either.

    For the SECOND time, I am asking you to let this DROP, and to make no further posts on this matter unless they are to apologise.

    CathBear

    (Moderator)

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