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How climate guilt makes us dishonest - 3 in 10 have lied about their car use

Three in ten (28%) car owners say they’ve been dishonest about their motoring habits due to feelings of ‘climate guilt’.

“I’d advise motorists feeling this way to consider what small ways they could reduce their environmental impact.”
— Christopher Wylie, Head of Automotive at Scrap Car Network
PRESTON, LANCASHIRE, UK, September 30, 2019 / -- Three in ten (28%) car owners say they’ve been dishonest about their motoring habits due to feelings of ‘climate guilt’, with the prominence of climate activism and increased media focus on climate change amplifying people’s feelings of guilt or shame about their carbon footprint - according to new research.

What were motorists dishonest about?

The findings are part of a study by ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network, who polled 1,000 UK motorists on their feelings about driving and its environmental impact.

Of those who admitted car-related dishonesty:

73% said they’d been dishonest about the number of journeys they typically made

63% didn’t tell the truth about their annual mileage

45% said they’d been dishonest about the efficiency of their car

More than a third (36%) admitted to hiding the fact that they actually owned a car

The study found that men were more likely to tell a car-related lie than women, as 71% of those who admitted being dishonest about their car usage were men. Motorists aged between 25 and 34 were the most likely to feel guilty about driving.

Top causes of climate guilt among motorists:

The reasons were varied as to why drivers felt compelled to be dishonest about their driving habits. 76% of those who’d done so said the media had had a strong influence on their feelings, and the study also revealed the prominence of climate activism as a cause of motorists’ climate guilt. Real world events and conversations with friends accounted for the rest.

People who were affected by climate guilt said their feelings were variously influenced by:

Seeing climate statistics published in media - 24%
The prominence of climate activists - 22%
Seeing news coverage of specific climate-related problems such as fires or floods - 19%
Learning about government climate commitments and policies around petrol/diesel cars - 11%
Seeing others reduce car usage or give up their cars due to climate fears - 10%
Conversations with friends and family about climate change - 8%
Witnessing real world events, such as floods, fires or unseasonable weather - 5%
Other - 1%

On the findings, Christopher Wylie, Head of Automotive at Scrap Car Network, says: “Contrary to what people may think, motorists do care about the environment and understand the impact of owning and driving a car. But for a significant proportion of them, not driving isn’t an option. This creates a situation where drivers feel guilty for how they get to work or access key services, due to a lack of other practical options.

“The fact that some drivers are now dishonest about how often or how far they drive, or in some cases whether or not they actually own a car, tells us that perceptions of motoring are changing among motorists, as well as advocates of low-carbon travel.

“I’d advise motorists feeling this way to consider what small ways they could reduce their environmental impact. Getting out of the habit of idling while stationary, ensuring the car is serviced and even downgrading to a car with a smaller engine can all reduce a motorist’s carbon footprint without forcing them to drastically change how they get about.”


*About the study:

Essential Content polled 1,000 UK adults using Survey Monkey between 6/9/2019 and 17/9/2019 on behalf of Scrap Car Network.

About Scrap Car Network.

Scrap Car Network is an easy way for drivers to get a great price for scrapping their car and support charities at the same time. Scrap Car Network helps to sustain the Recycling Lives social welfare charity. The social welfare charity is helping to end homelessness by providing homeless men aged 25 and over with safe accommodation, work placements and training opportunities.

Scrap Car Network ensures that all the cars we collect are disposed of ethically and in an environmentally friendly way. If we can resell your car or its parts, we will, but if the car’s not in a saleable condition, we’ll make sure it’s fully recycled and won’t cause any damage to the environment. Scrap Car Network is the clear choice when it comes to disposing of unwanted cars.

Sean O'Meara
Essential Content Ltd.
+44 161 710 3286
email us here