IN times of heightened environmental awareness and concern, when being green isn’t just desirable it’s also fashionable, the car has taken a bit of a battering.
An easy target for tax revenues, subject to rising fuel prices, and a major generator of emissions it’s never been tougher to be a driver.
Manufacturer developments mean that cars are becoming more efficient all the time which helps drivers to limit their environmental impact and manage their motoring costs.
The problem is that running a car remains a major expense and one that in the midst of a recession can be difficult to absorb.
Rather than shunning the car because of these pressures, the latest indications suggest that we haven’t lost our attachment to it, or our reliance on it.
In fact, motorists are sacrificing more disposable items to help keep their vehicles on the road according to a survey by moneysupermarket.com.
Nearly three-quarters of motorists admitted to cutting back on spending in other areas to support the cost of running a car.
A third of drivers said they 'can not live without' their car; instead prioritising four wheels over new clothes, alcohol and holidays.
Of course, no matter how much you love your car, it’s important to act responsibly to limit your costs and your environmental impact.
I wouldn’t advise using your car if there is a cheaper or more practical alternative but for many it remains the best option.
The commute to work, living in an isolated area, the need to carry larger loads or the flexibility that it provides all make for a compelling case.
Walking, cycling or taking public transport are good alternatives but we must accept that they will not always be practical, no matter how sustainably you try to operate.
So despite the price that we pay its no surprise that we still rely on our car, and on top of the practicalities that it brings, the emotional attachment clearly remains as strong as ever.
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.