Drivers across New Zealand who had visited and purchased petrol from a service station in the past six months were asked in a survey released this morning whether rising petrol costs had affected them and how they were managing.
More than half of the 2232 participants had resorted to using their cars for essential trips only in an effort to save on fuel costs.
Findings by Canstar Blue also showed that over a third of participants waited as long as possible to fill up their cars, with 38 per cent driving for at least a day with the empty fuel light lit before topping up.
Almost 60 per cent of those surveyed said they were willing to sacrifice convenience for price and more than 20 per cent of drivers surveyed also said they used public transport.
Petrol was on Wednesday trading at a standard price of $2.06 per litre in all major centres.
Although prices have receded slightly in the last month, the standard price for one litre of fuel has been above $2 since the beginning of the year.
AA petrol watch spokesman Mark Stockdale said he was not surprised the majority of motorists were unhappy about petrol prices.
"It's pretty clear ... high fuel prices that are now the norm are having a real impact on motorists' everyday life.
"People are really thinking about what they can do to reduce their costs of owning and running a car.
"What they are doing is cutting back in other areas, [which] will absolutely be having an impact on their lifestyles."
WHAT DRIVERS ARE SAYING
* Nearly 70 per cent say high cost of fuel has a negative effect on quality of life
* Over 50 per cent will only use their cars for essential trips
* 38 per cent driving on empty for a day before refuelling
* Nearly 60 per cent will sacrifice convenience for priceby Teuila Fuatai