With the petrol prices being debated by MPs in the House of Commons today (15th November 2011), leading online credit information provider, Equifax, has re-released research conducted earlier this year* which revealed that the cost of fuel means that for more than half of those surveyed, they pay by credit card. And this can have quite serious consequences for their finances if, like half of the people in the survey, they don't pay off their credit card balance in full at the end of every month.
"It's not surprising that motorists opt to use their credit card when filling up" explained Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. "Not many people will be carrying around at least £50 in cash! But what is worrying is that for over 10%, they are only paying off the minimum on their credit card each month. And a further 18% are paying off less than 25% of their balance. What this means is they're paying a lot more for their fuel than just the £1.36 or so per litre - and more for diesel. Indeed, with 1 in 5 saying they believe it will take them more than a year to pay off their credit card debt in full, the interest accrued will be quite considerable."
The Equifax research looked at credit card usage around the UK. Whilst the regional variances aren't particularly great they do illustrate the considerable dependency on some form of credit for many UK households.
Across the UK 91% of those surveyed said they have at least one credit card, with nearly a third (30%) having at least two and over 20% relying on at least three different cards. 63% of credit card users nationally say they use their cards for everyday living expenses, with 58% using their card to pay for fuel. With nearly a quarter of credit card users having an outstanding balance of between £1,000 and £5,000, interest payments will be adding quite considerably to monthly living expenses.
Regionally consumers in Wales rely the most on their credit cards for fuel payments at 68.2%. Perhaps not surprisingly, Londoners use their credit cards the least across the UK for fuel payments - at 43.4% - probably because they are less reliant on their cars in the City. However, it is Southerners (Londoners and those in the South East) who make the most use of their credit cards for everyday living expenses at 67% and 69% respectively.
|London||North East||North West||South East||South West||East Anglia||Midlands||Scotland||Wales|
|Everyday living expenses||67.6%||64%||56.7%||69.8%||63.2%||61.8%||60.5%||55.8%||60.6%|
*Survey of Equifax Personal Solutions customers, conducted January 2011 - 2,380 responses
For further press information or interviews with Neil Munroe, please contact: Louise Fowler, Clare Watson or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 17 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.
© Equifax, Inc., All rights reserved