Press release

Drivers face 45% rise in fuel costs as staycation getaway begins

Holidaymakers facing pain at the pumps as they hit the road this weekend on British staycations could make savings of almost 50% by switching to electric vehicles, according to new Auto Trader research.

A combination of staffing chaos at UK airports and the cost-of-living crisis has prompted a surge in staycation bookings, despite a first summer largely free of Covid restrictions on foreign travel since 2019.

Although lower wholesale petrol and diesel prices should eventually feed into easing pressure on fuel costs, families filling up for long journeys ahead of the weekend are facing a much more expensive trip than last year.

Based on Government fuel price data1 and a 600-mile round trip, Auto Trader’s research shows staycation driving costs for diesel drivers are up from £102.83 to £149.44 – a 45% rise on 12 months ago. For petrol drivers, fuel costs have surged from £100.79 to £142.94 – a jump of 42%.

The soaring costs for traditionally fuelled staycations underline the potential savings on offer by switching to EVs. The same journey would cost just £77.83 for an EV driver2 – 48% cheaper than a diesel vehicle and 45% below petrol driving costs.

Despite the potential savings on offer, staycationers in EVs heading to popular holiday destinations such as Cornwall and the Lake District face headaches due to a dearth of charging points for drivers to make the return journey.

Cornwall typically welcomes an extra 180,000 visitors during the summer months but according to Cornwall Council3 there are just 27 pay-as-you-go charging points – of which just 13 are superfast chargers. In the ever-popular Lake District, there is an even greater shortage with just four charging points4.

Erin Baker, editorial director at Auto Trader, said:

“Staycations have moved rapidly up the agenda for thousands of households this summer as people feel the pinch, underlining the potential savings on offer from switching to electric vehicles. Already this year our marketplace data shows EVs according for a record share of ad views as more drivers weigh up the benefits of going electric.

“Despite a big drop in fuel bills, the fly in the ointment for EV drivers heading to holiday hot-spots will be the challenge of getting back home due to the shortage of public chargers in key destinations. The prospect of hunting for a charging point and a long wait is hardly likely to encourage people to make the switch.”

“The reality is that most charging points are concentrated on London and the South-east and we need a much broader spread if we are to achieve the huge task of EV transition ahead of the 2030 ban. The current political turmoil must not distract from that goal.”

1 BEIS road fuel price data, 19th July

2 Based on a Polestar 2 vehicle, an initial domestic charge to begin journey and use of public charging points

3 Pay as you go - electric vehicle chargers - Cornwall Council


Notes to editors

Airbnb top trending UK destinations 2021 and number of charging points with a 5-mile radius

  1. Saint Clears, Pembrokeshire – 2
  2. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire - 7
  3. Clovelly, Devon - 0
  4. Bosham, Sussex - 7
  5. Primrose Valley, Yorkshire - 1
  6. Mullion, Cornwall - 2
  7. Cawsand, Cornwall - 4
  8. Noss Mayo, Devon - 2
  9. Saunton, Devon - 4
  10. East Wittering, Sussex – 4

(source: ZapMap)

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience