The UK is renowned as a nation of car lovers and with more vehicles per capita than its European counterparts, it has always been proud of its motoring heritage. But, according to a survey carried out by GfK NOP in conjunction with Nationwide Autocentre, it appears that Britain’s love affair with cars is dwindling, with nearly 30% of men and 20% of women now resenting their cars.

Rising fuel costs (74%) and road tax (53%) where sited as the main reasons for this new found ill-will, however road rage was turning a staggering 38% of women and 29% of men off their cars.

Duncan Wilkes, managing director of Nationwide Autocentre, commented: “Cars have had such bad press recently with rocketing running costs, poor environmental performance and increased road safety legislation, so we wanted to find out exactly how motorists in Britain feel about their cars. We were surprised to find that so many motorists have such a strong negative opinion.”

There is good news for doubting environmentalists though with 39% of motorists resenting their car due to its impact on the environment, more so in fact than the congestion charge costs associated with driving (33%).

Duncan continued: “As a company that is passionate about cars, car safety and cutting the cost of motoring for our customers, it’s sad to see a country which at one time was full of car lovers take such a big emotional shift to the point where cars are now seen as more of a burden than a privilege.”

Following recent surveys stating that motorists are now spending less than ever on car maintenance, Nationwide Autocentre also wanted to find out what UK motorists are spending their money on instead.

“Our survey showed that nearly 50% of the country is spending money on essentials like food and clothing instead of maintaining their vehicles,” Duncan continued. “So perhaps some motorists can’t afford to love their cars in the current climate.”

“However, while UK motorists may think they are saving money by not servicing their cars this could be a false economy. Yes, in the short term they may save pounds, but ultimately faults and repairs only get worse if they are not fixed and can end up costing hundreds of pounds in the long run,” he concluded.