One in three people in Lancashire regularly use the car for short trips that they admit could be completed just as easily by public transport or on foot.
A poll of 2,000 people has revealed that short trips are completed by car largely for convenience, with 100 per cent of those surveyed admitting they could walk, 50 per cent saying cycling is also an option for them, and 45 per cent revealing they could take public transport instead of the car.
The poll by independent car buying site carwow uncovered why we are all choosing - in these environmentally conscious times - to use our cars for such short trips.
Shopping (81 per cent) tops the list, ahead of the work commute (37 per cent), visiting friends and family (37 per cent) and the school run (37 per cent).
58 per cent of those surveyed said they prefer to use the car when transporting items and baggage. The average trip to the shops is four miles, with 15 per cent of people travelling less than a mile to pick up the weekly essentials.
Drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel even if they know it’s a short journey if they are running late (40 per cent), it’s bad weather (56 per cent), or if they’re simply feeling lazy (27 per cent).
Car-pooling is yet to seriously take off in the UK, with just one in four people surveyed saying they’d tried to share driving duties with friends or colleagues.
Only one in ten drivers clock up more than 100 miles a week, with longer journeys being almost always for visiting friends and family.
Women are more likely to use the car for a short journey than men - 33 per cent say they would use the car to travel less than a mile, compared to 28 per cent of men.
Andrew Hooks, COO of carwow, says: “We rely on our cars for so many things, no matter the length of the journey.
“Until public transport becomes a constantly reliable option, for many people there is simply no decision to make - the car wins every time.
“That is why drivers need to feel reassured about the future of motoring, with so much confusion over petrol, diesel and electric at the moment.
“Only then will we see longer term decisions being made by motorists in the types of car they are buying, relative to the types of journeys they are undertaking.”