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Brits drive on despite rising fuel costs

British drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated with rising fuel prices - but still won't leave their cars at home. A litre of unleaded petrol now costs an average 96.7 pence, a rise of 9.2 pence since January - with a massive two thirds of the pump price going to the government in tax. Constraints and strong global demand have pushed the price of petrol higher - Brent crude oil was at an 11-month high of $78.40 (£38.20) a barrel last week - but drivers do not seem to be reacting to the rise in prices.Luke Bosdet, an AA policy unit spokesperson, said that most drivers do not think driving is something they can cut back on - no matter how expensive petrol gets. "We've now had at least two particularly bad years for high fuel prices and as yet there hasn't been any major change in travel habits," he said."People tend to absorb the extra cost into the family budget and then cut back in other parts, maybe in leisure and entertainment spending."Mr Bosdet said the only real change being seen in driving habits due to high prices was an increase in the number of drivers picking diesel engines.It seems it would take a very dramatic jump in prices to get drivers to cut down their fuel consumption - a recent study in the US by Reuters and Zogby revealed that 40 per cent of drivers would only curb their fuel consumption if gasoline rose to $3.50 a gallon, from its $3 average.

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