Investigating the effects of car ownership on student mobility patterns
A self-completion mail-back questionnaire and one day travel diary were
sent to postgraduate students at the University of Leeds, to investigate
the effects of car ownership on patterns of mobility, and attitudes to
the car and car ownership.
The results showed that:
Car owners were found to travel significantly further per day on average
than non-car owners, approximately two thirds of this distance was accounted
for by the greater length of car owner trips for the purpose of education.
Suggesting that car owners are able to live further from the university
by virtue of faster door-to door travel, and to travel a greater distance
speed than can be achieved by other modes.
Car owners were found to make significantly more daily trips than non-car
The average trip duration of car owners and non-car owners were very similar,
suggesting that there is a limited travel budget controlling how far an
individual can travel to undertake daily activities
Convenience was expressed as the most important factor in the decision
to use the car, while speed and comfort were found to be significantly
As the length of driving increased, individuals were found to use their
cars for a greater proportion of their daily trips. Suggesting that
car dependency of individuals increases over time, and that it may take
some time for their mobility patterns to alter as a result of car ownership,
as they become aware of new opportunities.
Over 90% of non-car owners stated that they would like to own a car in
Approximately 40% stated that at present the main reason for their not
owning a car was that they had no need for a private vehicle. This
suggests that these individuals envisaged a change in their lifestyle after
graduating, for which the car would be necessary.